Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/195429
Title:
The Lives of the Liao (907-1125) Aristocratic Women
Author:
Cha, Ga-ju
Issue Date:
2005
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The Liao dynasty, founded by the Khitans who originated from the northeast corner of Manchuria, is often characterized by its women's exceptional political authority and high social standing. This dissertation investigates various activities of the Khitan aristocratic women, particularly the imperial women, in the public realms, such as politics, military, and court ceremonies. In addition to Chinese official dynastic histories, this study utilizes archaeological data obtained largely from excavation reports of the Liao tombs that produced female occupants. This dissertation is intended to reconstruct as concrete picture of their lives as possible by adopting an interdisciplinary approach. In doing so, it seeks to explain how and why the Khitan women of the Liao dynasty were granted such high social prestige and political power. It also contemplates on the question whether the Khitans were assimilated by the Chinese culture by the late dynastic period. The first part of this study is focused on analyzing the patterns of the Khitan imperial marriage and their traditional inheritance practices in the context of the consolidation of the empire. The Liao imperial clan, the Yelu, maintained an exclusive marriage alliance with another ruling clan, the Xiao, which produced all of the Liao empresses during the entire dynastic period. This marriage alliance, devised to ensure their monopoly of power, eventually worked for the advantage of the Xiao women, as well as their clansmen who dominated the Liao political power. Women's conspicuous participation in various public affairs was deeply rooted in the Khitan tribal tradition. The Khitans lacked the Chinese concept of segregation of gender roles and the Khitan women were employed at the court in the capacity of a religious professional (shaman) or even as a military commander. The observation of the mortuary practices of the Khitan suggests that they remained attached to their cultural traditions until the late dynastic period. This can be attested by the discovery of the unique Khitan funerary paraphernalia, such as gold masks and metal burial suits, and the evidence of animal sacrifices in their tombs.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
East Asian Studies
Degree Name:
PhD
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
East Asian Studies; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Committee Chair:
Shields, Anna M

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoENen_US
dc.titleThe Lives of the Liao (907-1125) Aristocratic Womenen_US
dc.creatorCha, Ga-juen_US
dc.contributor.authorCha, Ga-juen_US
dc.date.issued2005en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe Liao dynasty, founded by the Khitans who originated from the northeast corner of Manchuria, is often characterized by its women's exceptional political authority and high social standing. This dissertation investigates various activities of the Khitan aristocratic women, particularly the imperial women, in the public realms, such as politics, military, and court ceremonies. In addition to Chinese official dynastic histories, this study utilizes archaeological data obtained largely from excavation reports of the Liao tombs that produced female occupants. This dissertation is intended to reconstruct as concrete picture of their lives as possible by adopting an interdisciplinary approach. In doing so, it seeks to explain how and why the Khitan women of the Liao dynasty were granted such high social prestige and political power. It also contemplates on the question whether the Khitans were assimilated by the Chinese culture by the late dynastic period. The first part of this study is focused on analyzing the patterns of the Khitan imperial marriage and their traditional inheritance practices in the context of the consolidation of the empire. The Liao imperial clan, the Yelu, maintained an exclusive marriage alliance with another ruling clan, the Xiao, which produced all of the Liao empresses during the entire dynastic period. This marriage alliance, devised to ensure their monopoly of power, eventually worked for the advantage of the Xiao women, as well as their clansmen who dominated the Liao political power. Women's conspicuous participation in various public affairs was deeply rooted in the Khitan tribal tradition. The Khitans lacked the Chinese concept of segregation of gender roles and the Khitan women were employed at the court in the capacity of a religious professional (shaman) or even as a military commander. The observation of the mortuary practices of the Khitan suggests that they remained attached to their cultural traditions until the late dynastic period. This can be attested by the discovery of the unique Khitan funerary paraphernalia, such as gold masks and metal burial suits, and the evidence of animal sacrifices in their tombs.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectEast Asian Studiesen_US
thesis.degree.namePhDen_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineEast Asian Studiesen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.chairShields, Anna Men_US
dc.contributor.committeememberMcKnight, Brian E.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberTao, Jing-shenen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberPao-Tao, Chia-linen_US
dc.identifier.proquest1292en_US
dc.identifier.oclc137354850en_US
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