From Cooking Utensil to Cosmic Omen: Ding-tripod as Embodiment of Cultural Memory 由炊具到祥瑞:鼎與文化記憶 Faculty of Arts
Speaker: Prof. Poo Mu Chou (Department of History)
Date: 1 Mar 2013 (Fri)
Time: 4:00pm
Venue: Activities Room, 2/F, Art Museum East Wing, Institute of Chinese Studies, CUHK
Language: English
Abstract: The study investigated the changing meaning of ding-tripod in the cultural memory of ancient China. The example of ding shows how an object of daily use could be invested with all sorts of cultural memories: during the Shang, personal achievement and family prestige were transmitted through the bronze ding and the engravings on it; during the Zhou, ding became the symbol of political authority; during the Han, through the recounting of the stories of the Yellow Emperor’s gaining the divine ding, it was elevated to the status of an auspicious omen that could legitimize the political power as well as personal virtue of the sovereign. Meanwhile, it is worth noticing that the expanded and mythical significance of ding during the Han gradually gave way to the earlier meanings. It was the physical aspects of the bronze ding—heavy and stable, finely decorated and expensively made, and the political implication of ding that were remembered and transmitted to the later eras.


from cooking utensil to cosmic omen 1  from cooking utensil to cosmic omen 2


For the presentation material of the talk, please click here.