Shamanism and Tibetan Buddhism at Court

Evelyn S. Rawski

in The Last Emperors

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 1998 | ISBN: 9780520212893
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520926790 | DOI:
Shamanism and Tibetan Buddhism at Court

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This chapter turns to the court's patronage of shamanism and Tibetan Buddhism, and to its pursuit of a multicultural policy directed at different subject peoples in the empire. Shamanism was the avowed traditional belief system of the Manchus but originally focused on the resolution of individual problems. State shamanic rites developed as an alternative and counterpart to the Han Chinese political rituals. In the eighteenth century, the court attempted to preserve shamanic rituals through codification. Shamanism provided not only the foundation myths legitimating the Qing ruling house but also a cultural umbrella for integration of northeastern tribal groups. Tibetan Buddhism attracted Manchu rulers because it was the belief system of the Mongols and, in the seventeenth century, a key to supremacy in Inner Asia.

Keywords: shamanism; Tibetan Buddhism; multicultural policy; political rituals; Han Chinese; codification; Manchu rulers

Chapter.  14040 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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