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Burning Money – The Material Spirit of the Chinese Lifeworld - Hawaii Scholarship Online
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Burning Money: The Material Spirit of the Chinese Lifeworld

C. Fred Blake


For a thousand years across the length and breadth of China and beyond, people have burned paper replicas of valuable things—most often money—for the spirits of deceased family members, ancestors, and myriads of demons and divinities. Although frequently denigrated as wasteful and vulgar and at times prohibited by governing elites, today this venerable custom is as popular as ever. This book explores the cultural logic of this common practice while addressing larger anthropological questions concerning the nature of value. The heart of the work integrates Chinese and Western thought and analyt ... More

Keywords: Chinese ritual, Chinese custom, materialist aesthetics, paper money, paper-money burning, China, folklore, sacrifice, value

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780824835323
Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016 DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824835323.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

C. Fred Blake, author
University of Hawai'i at Manoa