Unraveling the Enigma of the Bi: The Spindle Whorl as the Model of the Ritual Disk

dc.contributor.author Green, Jean M.
dc.date.accessioned 2010-08-04T19:43:00Z
dc.date.available 2010-08-04T19:43:00Z
dc.date.issued 1993
dc.description.abstract This paper examines the question of the origin of the hi, a Chinese ritual or decorative flat disk with a relatively small hole in the middle, in the light of recent archaeological reports relating to the late Neolithic Liangzhu culture of southern Jiangsu and northern Zhejiang provinces. Other Chinese ritual jades possess tool prototypes. The hypothesis is that the bi and the discoidal whorl of the hand spindle are linked formally, contextually, and historically. In addition to the formal resemblance, the relationship of bi to textile implements, the correspondence of ritually smashed hi with broken whorls, significantly decorated whorls, and the possible ritual spinning of yarn are treated. The Liangzhu cemeteries at Yaoshan and Fanshan present an example of a possible sequence from a complete jade spindle and other jade whorls to small dragon-headed bi and, finally, to the large Liangzhu hi form. KEYWORDS: hi, spindle whorl, jade spindle whorl, Liangzhu, Changjiang River, Lake Tai, Yaoshan, Fanshan, Sidun, Fuquanshan, Caoxieshan, Zhejiang, Jiangsu.
dc.identifier.citation Green, J. M. 1993. Unraveling the Enigma of the Bi: The Spindle Whorl as the Model of the Ritual Disk. Asian Perspectives 32 (1): 105-24.
dc.identifier.issn 1535-8283 (E-ISSN)
dc.identifier.issn 0066-8435 (Print)
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10125/17022
dc.publisher University of Hawai'i Press (Honolulu)
dc.relation.ispartofseries Volume 32
dc.relation.ispartofseries Number 1
dc.subject bi
dc.subject spindle whorl
dc.subject jade spindle whorl
dc.subject Liangzhu
dc.subject Changjiang River
dc.subject Lake Tai
dc.subject Yaoshan
dc.subject Fanshan
dc.subject Sidun
dc.subject Fuquanshan
dc.subject Caoxieshan
dc.subject Zhejiang
dc.subject Jiangsu
dc.subject.lcsh Prehistoric peoples--Asia--Periodicals.
dc.subject.lcsh Prehistoric peoples--Oceania--Periodicals.
dc.subject.lcsh Asia--Antiquities--Periodicals.
dc.subject.lcsh Oceania--Antiquities--Periodicals.
dc.subject.lcsh East Asia--Antiquities--Periodicals.
dc.title Unraveling the Enigma of the Bi: The Spindle Whorl as the Model of the Ritual Disk
dc.type Article
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