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Rituals For The Earth

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Chapter Summary

For the ritual to Earth, a part of the earth is raised and an altar erected on it, and the celebrations were then made facing the mound. This explanation makes the altar of earth central to the establishment of the she. But the meaning carried by the clod of earth is not only that. This chapter discusses how a clod of earth was transported and, wrapped in reeds, became the core of a new she. It describes very briefly the different basic forms of the she and its ritual. It then analyses the concepts this ritual was based on. Ideas certainly changed over time, but, behind these changing ideas, the chapter identifies the basic concept and its religious and sociological function. It focuses on the tradition that led the Shang people to call their most important base "Bo," and ask why a "Bo" can be found in every place.

Keywords: altar of earth; Bo; clod of earth; Shang people



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