The ‘Jade Cicada’
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’.