The ‘Jade Ci­cada’

That's China - - Catching Cicadas 捉知了 -

In the Chi­nese mythol­ogy and literati cul­ture,‘ci­cada’ plays an in­trigu­ingly im­por­tant role be­cause of its ‘im­mor­tal­ity’ - that is, spir­i­tu­ally but not phys­i­cally – in the sense that they “live in the silt but not im­brued”, a virtue highly es­teemed by the Chi­nese literati. ‘Ci­cada’ totemism in China dates back in as early as the Ne­olithic age. Seven ex­quis­ite jade ‘ci­cada’ pieces of the arche­o­log­i­cal find­ings from a site in Hubei Prov­ince in the 1954 are car­bon­dated as crafted around 4,400 years ago. Archeologists also found a ‘jade ci­cada’ from the Liangzhu Cul­ture site in Yuhang, Hangzhou. ‘Jade ci­cada’ was also part of the burial tra­di­tion of the no­bles liv­ing in the pe­riod be­tween Shang and West Han.The rit­ual of ‘han chan’ (‘ 含蝉 ’putting a jade ci­cada on the tongue of the de­ceased) had the im­pli­ca­tions of ‘resur­gence’.

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