By Christine Liu-Perkins,Sarah S. Brannen
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Extra resources for At Home in Her Tomb
The qin was the favorite instrument of scholars, who played it to nurture and express inner calm. During Xin Zhui’s time, music and dancing were valued for more than just recreation. Confucian philosophers valued music for its power to foster virtue and proper behavior. They believed that good government was reflected in ceremonial music that sounded harmonious, peaceful, and orderly. The entertainers in the banquet scene included these five figurines of musicians—three with se zithers and two with yu mouth organs—as well as four singers and four dancers.
Also noteworthy is their representation of actual distances through the use of scale. Widespread use of sophisticated maps accurately made to scale put China ahead in cartography compared to other ancient civilizations, including Greece and Rome. The Hidden Library During the time of Lady Dai and her family, scholars commonly had personal libraries for their own reading and studying. They even traveled with their libraries, as the son might have done, his books and maps packed conveniently in their lacquer box.
In death Lady Dai was literally surrounded by silk—evidence of her privileged status. After she died mourners cocooned her body in twenty layers of silk clothing. They tied nine silk bands around the bundle, placed it inside a silk-lined coffin, and covered it with two padded silk quilts. The coffin was decorated on the outside with silk brocade and embroidered silk and tied with two more silk bands. The silk-wrapped body of Lady Dai lay within this silk-decorated coffin. Feathers and strips of silk were glued onto thin silk, which was then pasted onto the lid and the four sides of the coffin.
At Home in Her Tomb by Christine Liu-Perkins,Sarah S. Brannen