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The art of rice : spirit and sustenance in Asia /
Roy W. Hamilton ; with contributions by Aurora Ammayao ... [et al.].
imprint
Los Angeles, CA : UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, c2003.
description
552 p. : ill. (some col.)
ISBN
0930741986 (soft)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
Los Angeles, CA : UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, c2003.
isbn
0930741986 (soft)
catalogue key
5117506
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2004-03-15:
The thrust of this massive collection of varied articles and fascinating photographs is best summed up by two chapter headings in the piece on Balinese offerings, "Rice Is Food" and "Rice Is Life." For many cultures in South and Southeast Asia, both these statements are self-evident. The people of these cultures believe that they would not exist without rice, which is often considered the gift of the gods. Written to accompany a traveling exhibition organized by the Fowler Museum at UCLA, this volume examines religious and cultural beliefs concerning rice farming and eating in Japan, Nepal, India, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, China, and Korea. The 35 chapters by 27 authors, including the book's editor, Hamilton (curator of Asian & Pacific collections, UCLA Fowler Museum; Gift of the Cotton Maiden), vary in tone but are all accessible to educated readers with an interest in anthropology. The superb color photos, taken on site in Asia, are as important as the text. Anyone pondering the effects of food and farming on culture will find this book invaluable.-David McClelland, Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2005-01-01:
This massive and beautiful book, written largely by Southeast Asian specialist Hamilton (curator, UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History)--with contributions by other anthropologists, cultural and art historians, artists, and museum specialists--examines the material culture, cultural beliefs, ritual practices, and social structure surrounding rice as a staple in different societies throughout Asia. The book is divided into eight sections, corresponding to different thematic connections between rice and culture including ritual, kinship, labor, iconography, physical spaces, and political processes; there is even a small section on rice straw and its use in Asian material culture. Each section contains a comparative introduction written by Hamilton, followed by particular case studies. Although these case studies span Asia, the majority of them concern South and Southeast Asia (especially Indonesia); East Asia, while represented in Hamilton's introduction to each section and in many photographs, is limited to five of the 26 case studies (with only one article on China). Nonetheless, the dizzying array of beautiful, detailed photographs makes this an invaluable resource for understanding the role of rice in Asian societies. For library collections and those teaching courses on Asia, food and culture, art history, and material culture. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries. E. P. Lozada Davidson College
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, March 2004
Choice, January 2005
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Roy Hamilton explores the beliefs & practices relating to rice as they are manifested in the arts & material cultures of the various peoples who inhabit south, southeast & east Asia.
Main Description
The term Asia is a problematic and highly artificial construct, because hardly anything - not language, religion, politics, or even geography - unites this huge area. Within the context of this study, however - which focuses on parts of South, Southeast, and East Asia (home to the vast majority of the population) - there exists a unifying factor of paramount significance: rice. Not only is rice the staple food in these regions, it is the focal point of a pervasive set of interrelated beliefs and practices. For those who consume it, this foodstuff is considered divinely given and is felt to sustain them in a special way, one that may be understood as constitutional and even spiritual. This volume explores beliefs and practices relating to rice as they are made manifest in the unique arts and material cultures of the various peoples considered.Incorporating essays by twenty-seven authorities representing a wide variety of cultures and writing from diverse perspectives, the book is astounding in its polyphony. The thirty-five lavishly illustrated essays describe rice-related rituals and beliefs in parts of Thailand, Nepal, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, China, and Korea. Throughout, the juxtaposition of magnificent photographs of works of art - paintings, prints, ceramics, textiles, lacquerware, and sculpture - with objects of a more humble nature - agricultural implements, rice-straw ornaments, cooking utensils, baskets, puppets, votive plaques, and more - serves to indicate the striking pervasiveness of rice in all aspects and all walks of life. Wedding ceremonies, parades, festivals, celebrations of birth, rites held to honor the rice goddess, and those performed to ensure success at every step in the rice-growing cycle are vividly described and illustrated with striking field photographs. The whole gives the reader the rare opportunity to compare similarities and differences in how a rich array of Asian cultures views the food that nourishes them.
Main Description
The term Asia is a problematic and highly artificial construct, because hardly anything - not language, religion, politics, or even geography - unites this huge area. Within the context of this study, however - which focuses on parts of South, Southeast, and East Asia (home to the vast majority of the population) - there exists a unifying factor of paramount significance: rice. Not only is rice the staple food in these regions, it is the focal point of a pervasive set of interrelated beliefs and practices. For those who consume it, this foodstuff is considered divinely given and is felt to sustain them in a special way, one that may be understood as constitutional and even spiritual. This volume explores beliefs and practices relating to rice as they are made manifest in the unique arts and material cultures of the various peoples considered.Incorporating essays by twenty-seven authorities representing a wide variety of cultures and writing from diverse perspectives, the book is astounding in its polyphony. The thirty-five lavishly illustrated essays describe rice-related rituals and beliefs in parts of Thailand, Nepal, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Japan, China, and Korea. Throughout, the juxtaposition of magnificent photographs of works of art - paintings, prints, ceramics, textiles, lacquerware, and sculpture - with objects of a more humble nature agricultural implements, rice-straw ornaments, cooking utensils, baskets, puppets, votive plaques, and more - serves to indicate the striking pervasiveness of rice in all aspects and all walks of life. Wedding ceremonies, parades, festivals, celebrations of birth, rites held to honor the rice goddess, and those performed to ensure success at every step in the rice-growing cycle are vividly described and illustrated with striking field photographs. The whole gives the reader the rare opportunity to compare similarities and differences in how a rich array of Asian cultures views the food that nourishes them.
Table of Contents
Forewordp. 7
Prefacep. 11
Acknowledgmentsp. 13
Notes to the Readerp. 15
Introductionp. 21
Labor, Ritual, and the Cycle of Time
Labor, Ritual, and the Cycle of Timep. 37
Box: The Balinese Tikap. 38
Rice Festivals in Northeast Thailandp. 63
Body Art and Cyclic Time: Rice Dancing among the Tharu of Nepalp. 77
Rice Culture in Manipur, Indiap. 89
The Purification of Rice Fields in Java with an Apotropaic Plankp. 101
Rice Harvest Rituals in Two Highland Tai Communities in Vietnamp. 119
The Granary: A Home for the Rice Spirits
The Granary: A Home for the Rice Spiritsp. 135
The Granary of the Tharu of Nepalp. 143
Rice Festivals: Community and Celebration
Rice Festivals: Community and Celebrationp. 155
The Pahiyas Festival of Lucban, Philippinesp. 161
The Gods Walk on Rice in Selat, Balip. 169
Offering the New Rice to the Buddha in Mae Chaem, Northern Thailandp. 179
The Ghost Festival of Dan Sai, Loei Province, Thailandp. 185
The Ma'Bua' Pare Ceremony of the Sa'dan Toraja of Sulawesi, Indonesiap. 201
Tro Tram Festival and the Veneration of Ngo Thi Thanh in a Vietnamese Villagep. 219
Of Mites and Men: The Shorei Festival at Mount Haguro, Japanp. 241
The Goddess of Rice
The Goddess of Ricep. 255
Box: Annapurnap. 271
Ponniyamman, a Tamil Rice Goddess from South Indiap. 273
Sri and Sedana at Pura Besakih, Balip. 277
Sacred Food
Sacred Foodp. 289
Lakshmi of the House: Rituals, Realities, and Representations of Womanhood in Modern Bengalp. 309
The Art of Rice in Balinese Offeringsp. 321
Box: Saradp. 339
Sake in Japanese Art and Culturep. 345
Photo-Essay: The Art of Sakep. 352
Straw Matters
Straw Mattersp. 365
Rice, Self, and State
Rice, Self, and Statep. 375
Rice in the Human Life Cycle: Traditions from Tamil Nadu, Indiap. 393
Wrapping the Body with Images of Rice: Kimono Patterns from the Edo Periodp. 409
Images of Rice in Imperial Chinese Culturep. 421
The Future of Rice
The Future of Ricep. 439
Let's Hope the Bile Is Goodp. 451
Mbok Sri Dethroned: Changing Rice Rituals in Rural East Javap. 469
The Descent of Good Fortune and Material Wealth: A Contemporary Javanese Shadow Puppet Playp. 489
Social and Agricultural Change in Korea's Rice Farming Communitiesp. 497
Rice in South Korean Life: The Transformation of Agricultural Iconsp. 509
Notes to the Textp. 526
References Citedp. 531
Contributorsp. 539
Indexp. 541
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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