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History And Government

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Chapter Summary

Local community religion in China not only has its own forms of organization, leadership and rituals, but also has its own history, a history that in many cases goes back several hundreds years. This chapter first summarizes the community rituals before the Song period (960-1279), then notes the new developments in that period that set the stage for what followed, and refers to new government policies for local communities in the early Ming that influenced rituals carried out by the people. It also summarizes the government regulations for local rituals. A related topic is the veneration in the north of ancient deities attested to in pre-Han sources, deities such as Nüwa, Fuxi and Shennong, the legendary founder of agriculture and herbal medicine. The earliest evidence for these cults is from Henan and Hebei.

Keywords: China; community rituals; Fuxi; Hebei; Henan; Nüwa; Shennong; Song period (960-1279)



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