The Chinese refer to their country as the Middle Kingdom, an indication of how central they have felt themselves to be throughout history. There are cultural and linguistic variations in different regions, but for such a large country the culture is relatively uniform. However, fifty-five minority groups inhabit the more remote regions of the country and have their own unique cultures, languages, and customs.
The discovery of Peking man in made it evident that ancient humanlike creatures with an early Paleolithic culture had dwelled in China. Certain physical characteristics of Peking man are thought to be distinctive marks of the Mongoloid branch of the human race.
Skulls of modern humans Homo sapiens have also been found. Until recently, archaeologists believed that the earliest Neolithic farming villages the Yang Shao culture appeared in the Yellow River valley about B.
Now a series of newly discovered sites has pushed back the Neolithic Age in China to B. The evidence indicates that China's Neolithic culture, which cultivated millet and domesticated the pig, originated independently from that in the Near East.
The people of China's last Neolithic culture, called Lung Shan, lived in walled towns and produced a wheel-made black pottery. Their culture spread widely in North China.
Most scholars believe that this Neolithic culture immediately preceded the Shang period, when civilization emerged in China about B. Others now believe that the Hsia Dynasty, considered - like the Shang had been - to be purely legendary, actually existed and flourished for some three centuries before it was conquered by the Shang.
China Enters History With the establishment of Shang rule over most of North China and the appearance of the first written texts, China completed the transition from Neolithic culture to civilization. Shang originally was the name of a nomadic tribe whose vigorous leaders succeeded in establishing themselves as the overlords of other tribal leaders in North China.
The Shang capital, a walled city to which the tribal leaders came to pay tribute, changed frequently; the last capital was at modern Anyang. The Shang people developed bronze metallurgy and carried it to heights hardly surpassed in world history.
Bronze was used to cast elaborate ceremonial and drinking vessels the Shang leaders were notorious for their drinking bouts and weapons, all intricately decorated with both incised and high-relief designs. Bronze vessels, such as this one from the early tenth century B. Animals were a major motif of ritual bronzes.
Courtesy of the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institutuion, Washington, DC] The Shang people also developed a distinctive writing system employing nearly characters, some of which are still in use today. These characters represent individual words rather than sounds and consist of pictographs, recognizable as pictures of observable objects, and ideographs representing ideas.
Most Shang writing is found on thousands of "oracle bones," fragments of animal bones and tortoise shells on which were inscribed questions put to the gods and ancestral spirits, which were thought to continue a close relationship with their living descendants as members of the family group.
The diviner would ask such questions as "Will the king's child be a son? Shang China was ruled by hereditary kings who were also priests acting as intermediaries between the people and the spirit world.
Their power was not absolute, being constantly limited by an aristocratic "Council of the Great and Small. Shang kings and nobles lived in imposing buildings, went to battle in horse-drawn chariots resembling those of Homer's Greece, and were buried in sumptuous tombs together with their chariots, still-living servants and war captives.
Warfare was frequent, and the chariot, a new military weapon, facilitated the spread of Shang power through North China. The power of the kings and nobles rested on their ownership of the land, their monopoly of bronze metallurgy, their possession of expensive war chariots, and the kings' religious functions.
Unlike the common people, the kings and nobles had recorded ancestors and belonged to a clan. They were the descendants in the male line from a common ancestor to whom they rendered worship and who was usually a god or a hero, but sometimes a fish, an animal, or a bird.
The chief deity, called God on High, was the ancestor of the king's own clan. There were regular animal sacrifices and libations of a beerlike liquor were poured on the ground.
The object was to win the aid or avoid the displeasure of the spirits. Magic was employed to maintain the balance of nature, which was thought to function through the interaction of two opposed but complementary forces called yang and yin.
Yang was associated with the sun and all things male, strong, warm, and active. Yin was associated with the moon and all things female, dark, cold, weak, and passive. In later ages, Chinese philosophers - all male - would employ these concepts to work out the behavior pattern of obedience and passivity that was expected of women.
The common people were peasants who belonged to no clans and apparently worshiped no ancestors. Their gods were the elementary spirits of nature, such as rivers, mountains, earth, wind, rain, and heavenly bodies.
Peasants were virtual serfs, owning no land but working plots periodically assigned to them by royal and noble landowners. They collectively cultivated the fields retained by their lords. Farming methods were primitive, not having advanced beyond the Neolithic level.
Bronze was used for weapons, not tools or implements, and the peasants continued to reap wheat and millet with stone sickles and till their allotted fields with wooden plows.
The Feudal Age Around B. The Chou leader announced that Heaven Tien had given him a mandate to replace the Shang. This was more than a rationalization of the seizure of power. It introduced a new aspect of Chinese thought:Red Sorghum is a complex cinematographic exploration of Chinese cultural roots resistant to unambiguous interposition within the socio-political spectrum, particularly in relation to Confucianism: a lingering and historically viable doctrine intimately intertwined with the Chinese civilization.
Costumes in Empresses in the Palace. Reading the subtitles and looking at the gorgeous costumes at the same time is hard! You may want to watch twice to take it all in because there’s so much to see.
Confucianism is one of the major schools of thought in China.
It developed from the teaching of Confucius. The principle of Confucianism is contained in nine ancient Chinese works handed down by Confucius and his followers.
Confucianism And Raise The Red Essays: Over , Confucianism And Raise The Red Essays, Confucianism And Raise The Red Term Papers, Confucianism And Raise The Red Research Paper, Book Reports.
ESSAYS, term and research papers available for UNLIMITED access. Confucianism is one of the major schools of thought in China. It developed from the teaching of Confucius. The principle of Confucianism is contained in nine ancient Chinese works handed down by Confucius and his followers.
Topics: Family, Raise the Red Lantern, Marriage Pages: 3 ( words) Published: October 8, What has happened to Confucianism. For a long time, Confucian was accepted as the idea that a healthy society depended on a solid traditional family.