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Leadership And Organization

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Chapter Summary

The order and organization of north China community rituals were rooted in that of the families and communities themselves, which were organized as much as possible for their mutual survival, survival that depended on cooperation and leadership. This chapter discusses the types and activities of the leaders of community-wide rituals as a kind of sub-set of village governance focused on trying to gain access to what people believed was another dimension of effective power. This discussion proceeds by geographical areas, beginning with Hebei, then moving to Shanxi, Shandong and beyond. The chapter includes a section on the activities of spirit-mediums in festivals in various places in the north. Though Shanxi stretches north to south along the western border of Hebei, and though there was large-scale migration from Shanxi to Hebei near the beginning of the Ming dynasty, there are significant differences between the local ritual traditions of these two areas.

Keywords: community rituals; Hebei; north China; Shandong; Shanxi



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