Jade vestments are handmade jade suits from the Han Dynasty of China, used for the burial ceremonies of China’s elite and members of the ruling class. Used for the wealthy class, the ruling class.
Jade and the ancient Chinese.
Referring to jade is referring to China. The Chinese developed a fascination with jade as early as 6000 BC during the Neolithic period, producing ceremonial and decorative tools or weapons as symbols of political power and religious power. Jade represents luxury, nobility and power.
One of the first known centers of jade production was in the Yangtze River Delta of China by the Liangzhu culture (3300–2300 BC), supplying nephrite jade for jade items. ceremony and convenience from the now exhausted mines in the Ningshao area.
Jade is also of great origin in an area of Liaoning province, Inner Mongolia by the Hongshan culture (4700–2200 BC), which produced jade objects in the shape of pig dragons or zhūláng and embryo dragons.
During the Han Dynasty (China’s second dynasty) from 202 BC, jade objects were increasingly decorated with animal figures and other decorative motifs, while embossed work on the Items such as belt hooks became part of high-end apparel.
Because of its hardness, durability, and delicate translucent color, jade became associated with the Chinese conception of soul, protective qualities, and immortality in the ‘essence’ of the stone (yu zhi, shi zhi jing ye).
The Golden Age of Jade.
The connection to jade’s longevity is evident in the text of the Chinese historian Sima Qian (145 – 86 BC) of the Emperor of the Han Dynasty (157 BC – 87 BC), who is described as having a jade cup with the words “Long Life to God of mankind”, and treat yourself to a elixir of jade powder mixed with sweet dew. Jade is an inseparable culture of the ancient Chinese people.
The Han people believe that each person has a soul consisting of two parts: the soul (hun 魂) that journeys to the afterlife of the immortals (xian), and the body-soul (po 魄) still lying in the grave. or its tomb. earth and is reunited with the soul-soul only through a ritual. The early Han rulers believed that jade would protect the physical body and the souls attached to it upon death, with various types of burials being found with large and small jade marbles placed in them. around the deceased.
This evolved into the practice of burying in ornate jade burial suits, completely wrapping the deceased in thousands of cut and polished jade pieces sewn together with thread, believes that the suit guarantees immortality. It is estimated that it would take hundreds of craftsmen over 10 years to polish the jade plates needed for a single suit, emphasizing the power and wealth of the deceased.
Jade – the soul of the Chinese people.
According to the Hòu Hanshū (Book of the Later Han), the only type used depends on the status. The emperor’s jade suits were inlaid with gold, while the royal family and high-ranking nobles wore silver, the sons and daughters of the copper tenants and low-ranking nobles wore silk.
This practice is believed to have stopped during the reign of the first emperor of the Wei state during the Three Kingdoms period (AD 220-280), for fear that grave robbers would burn the clothes. for gold or silver thread.
The mention of burial of jade suits in historical texts was long suspected of mere legend, until two complete jade suits were discovered in the Prince’s tomb. Liu Sheng and his wife Princess Dou Wan in Mancheng, Hebei in 1968, with a total of 20 known. Jade burial suits discovered in China so far.