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From God-of-the-Wall to Garrison Soldier: The Dingxiang Wang Cult in Xinjiang

Special Issue
Eric T. SCHLUESSEL (University of Montana)
Year: 
2017
Volume: 
15
Number: 
2
Page: 
169-185
Abstract: 

The late-Qing reintegration of Xinjiang into the empire was not only a political and military event, but one that effected a transformation in the region's cultures and societies. This article investigates the religious life of Hunanese people in Xinjiang during that time, focusing on their worship of the deities Dingxiang Wang and Fangshen. These two deities' various legends reflect the experiences of Xiang Army soldiers on their march from Hunan and their development of a sense of belonging after settling in Xinjiang. This article reconstructs the origins of Dingxiang Wang through scattered oral histories and written records.

Journal of History and Anthropology