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How Can Images Be Historical Evidence? A Historical Anthropological Study of a Stone Painting in the Tuzhu Temple, Chuxiong, Yunnan
There is a colorful marble painting in the Confucian temple of Shiyang town, Dayao county, Chuxiong of Yunnan province. It was in Tuzhu Temple there. On the lower part, it depicts that Zhang Hu, a general under Sun Kewang, enters Shiyang and forces a woman, surname Feng, sinking herself into a well after they occupy Yunnan in mid-17th century. On the upper part, it depicts that Li Wei suffers the storm in the Dongting Lake on the way to Yunnan and he is saved by the deity Tuzhu of Shiyang. On the surface, this is a painting showing the power of Tuzhu, but because this painting is devoted by the salt traders of Shiyang where well salt is produced, we can know through examinations that the periods of Yongzheng's reign and Daoguang's reign are very important "historical moments" for local salt industry and social development, which are two key points of Shiyang society from its restoration to flourish. The whole painting seems to express the power of Tuzhu and the charity of the women, but the most important factor behind them is the salt and its benefits. Therefore, we could not only show the unique value of the images as a historic text rather than the literature, but also deepen the practice of historical anthropology studies by holding the tensions among varied texts and genres.
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KontaktDr. Sigrun Abels
Center for Cultural Studies on Science and Technology in China (CCST)
sec. KAI 1-4
Room KAI 1.114
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- Flyer: Doing Social Anthropology with Folklore 
- Poster: Doing Social Anthropology with Folklore