Revolutionary Woman, Song Queen, and Passionate Sister: Contextualizing Three Enactments of She Xiang’s Marriage and Love Life [virtual]

Wenyuan Shao (Shanghai University)

This paper examines shifting images of the female chieftain She Xiang (1361-1396) and her husband Ai Cui (1307-1383) in several representations. Their legacy is attributed to a Tibeto-Burman-speaking community in Southwest China, also known as the Yi. The Yi language genealogy portrays She Xiang as a capable woman who married Ai Cui to strengthen political alliance, while the folktale emphasizes a typical courtship romance between the two. In the nationally watched television program, their marriage is a combination of both free choice and social responsibility. These revisions have deeper roots in Yi and Chinese religion-based social structures which vary in the definitions of what count as “proper” marriage.

Part of 01-05 Women, Belief, and Everyday Religious Experiences in Contemporary Multi-ethnic China [hybrid], Thursday, October 13, 8:00 am–10:00 am