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Burning MoneyThe Material Spirit of the Chinese Lifeworld$
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C. Fred Blake

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835323

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835323.001.0001

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Endless Scroll

Endless Scroll

(p.25) Chapter 2 Endless Scroll
Burning Money

C. Fred Blake

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter examines some of the material forms of paper money, focusing on the galaxy of papers that are cut from an endless scroll dating back a thousand years and canopies most of continental east Asia from Lanzhou to Taipei, from Harbin to Hanoi and its diasporas. A complete inventory and taxonomy of Chinese paper monies is impossible. Labels use terms that are sometimes literary, other times of a local or regional vernacular, and still other times the same terms as used for the real thing. There is also the protean structure (endless in-between, overlapping, and hybrid varieties and purposes) of the paper replicas and facsimiles. This chapter first provides an overview of the taxonomies and replicas of money before discussing paper money and how it is manufactured in China. It also considers the presence and elaboration of silver and gold papers in the various paper money venues around China. Finally, it looks at the existence of a version of paper money throughout China that bears resemblance to the ancient strings of copper cash.

Keywords:   paper money, China, silver paper, gold paper, copper cash, taxonomies

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