The classic Book
of Poetry compiled by philosopher Confucius from ancient Chinese text
has given Hong Kong researchers insights into the significance of animal
symbolism found on bronze vessels dating back more than 3,000 years ago.
to what might be expected, said co-Principal Investigator Dr Shun-
yee Ho from The University of Hong Kong, the ox rather than the
dragon was the most important animal symbol in ancient China. In
the period between the 1100 and 600 BC covering the Zhou Dynasty, the
Chinese worshipped a single High God of the heavens, Dr Ho explained.
An ox was often sacrificed to bring wealth and blessing as
in harvests and battle; and in gratitude for plenty and fortune.
The more than
300 poems compiled by Confucius were first transmitted orally and then
written on bamboo sticks in ancient Chinese text. Today they are written
in modern characters but it is still possible to see how the ancient character
evolved, said Dr Ho.
Dr Ho is Dr Cecilia Chan from City University of Hong Kong.
reveals that the ox represented four main meanings:
As a precious
gift to the High God to express gratitude for rain, food, wealth, children
and all the good things in life.
As a medium
of communication between the spiritual and human worlds.
To delight the
of blessings from the High God.
Dr Cecilia Y H Chan :
Dr Shun-yee Ho : firstname.lastname@example.org
for fish and ox evolved from symbols to ancient and moden text