It is time now for the living to pay their respects to the dead.
The Great Lord, a member of our Chinese Tang royal family,
has died. Just as we his loyal subjects have made
certain he was comfortable in life, so too we take
care of him in the afterlife. We believe that when
a person dies, his or her soul lives on in two separate
parts: the po and the hun. The po
stays with the body in the tomb, while the hun
travels off in search of Paradise. It is the nobleman's
po that we try to make feel at home in the
Long ago, when a king or nobleman died, his servants and soldiers
were put to death and buried with him. Our ancestors did this because
they wanted to make certain that the nobleman's servants and soldiers
would be there to take care of him in the afterlife. Some graves
included more than 1,000 bodies and more than a ton of bronze and
jade objects. Naturally, a king's subjects hoped he would live a
long and happy life!
Now, however, we believe that clay objects can substitute
for the things the po loved and needed during
its lifetime, just as a Han dynasty lord or lady
loved these acrobats. They will also impress the
other spirits in the afterlife for all eternity
and show that our lord was a very important man.
The things we include in our Great Lord's grave
show what is important to him and to us as a people.
We include many thingsmingqi is the
Chinese word for "spirit goods" objects
that show that he was wealthy and powerful.