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The Treasured Altar of the Primordial Sovereign

Steven Frost defended his thesis on 6 June 2017

Steven Q. Frost
06 June 2017
Leiden Repository

The altar of primordial treasure : ritual, theater, and community life in the mountains of China's Guizhou Province


This study examines ritual, masked theater and community life in the mountains of China’s Guizhou Province from the perspective of religion, art, social history, and material culture. I specifically document apotropaic religious practices with a long historical pedigree, informed by China’s major religious teachings of Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism. Evidence drawn from fieldwork and the examination of local ritual texts demonstrates that these religious categories are helpful as guideposts for studying Guizhou’s popular religious life, but they are insufficient in defining and understanding what we find on the ground where traditional belief structures and practices still exist.

Supervisors: prof. dr. R.H.A. Corbey (Archeology) and prof. dr. B.J. ter Haar (Humanities, LIAS)