[KS] rice images on Korean ceramics

Vladimir Tikhonov vladimir.tikhonov at east.uio.no
Fri Apr 26 05:08:22 EDT 2002

There is an accepted theory in Korean archeology that the picture on the 
famous "Nonggyeongmun Ch'eongtonggi" ("A bronze vessel with 
Agriculture-related design"; dated usually as bronze age artefact) 
depicting a man (genitalia emphasized) with something resembling a hoe in 
hands, is actually about either agriculture or some agriculture-related 
ritual. You may view the object on National Museum's website.

V. Tikhonov

At 16:23 24.04.2002 -0700, you wrote:
>Dear List Members,
>is there anyone out there (best would be curators and art historians), who
>has any idea why there seems to be a total ABSENCE of rice motifs on Korean
>ceramics (incl. celadons, onggis, fine wares) of all(?) of Korea's historic
>periods. Artists depict all kinds of things but never rice nor any
>references to rice, rice paddies, or harvest celebrations. Of course, there
>are countless idiomatic references to rice in Hangul with many indications
>of the importance of rice in Korean life (and even death).
>I do suspect a cultural taboo, perhaps because of the enormous "life force"
>believed to be contained in rice, but haven't been able to figure out where
>such a taboo would have to come from. Why this important omission, why the
>taboo, why is there no indication through the literature or oral
>traditions. Or is there?
>Your comments and the passing on of the problem to pertinent sources will
>be greatly appreciated.
>Mike Reinschmidt

Vladimir Tikhonov,
Department of East European and Oriental Studies,
Faculty of Arts,
University of Oslo,
P.b. 1030, Blindern, 0315, Oslo, Norway.
Fax: 47-22854140; Tel: 47-22857118

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