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Barrett, T. H. (2023) 'Literati Encomia on Embroidered Buddhist Icons, c.700-900 CE.' Nan Nü: Men, Women and Gender in China, 25 (1). pp. 3-16.

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This study examines all the surviving examples of short prose pieces written in praise of embroidery depicting Buddhist objects of worship between circa 700 and 900. The process whereby they were transmitted to the present is traced wherever possible, and the main themes are indicated by means of the identification of recurrent vocabulary items. Typically, the embroideries described are said to have been created by women for the posthumous benefit of their family members, both male and female; the male writers involved, whose work was generally deemed to possess literary merit, were usually connected by family or other ties to the creators of the embroideries. One or two pieces that seem to be less typical are also discussed, though the restriction of the total size of the corpus to a score of pieces by a handful of writers makes the task of establishing the scope of the conventions observed difficult to determine. But as a genre in which men praised the cultural production of women these texts may merit further research.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Tang dynasty embroidery, Wenyuan yinghua anthology, unseen world, karmic benefit, Buddhist images, women as embroiderers
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies
ISSN: 1387680
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2023 15:06

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