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Ancestral tablet

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made in China

Ancestral tablet
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To the Chinese, ancestral tablets are a home for the spirit of a deceased person after burial. They are kept in a shrine in the house and the living worship and make offerings to the spirit. This one was made for a man who lived 1796-1882.

The wooden tablet comprises a base, a backboard and a front board. The ink inscription records details of the deceased and the names of his male descendants who installed the tablet. A red dot on the front board 'fixed' the spirit inside the tablet.

The ancestors are very important in Chinese belief, and keeping them happy is important for the well-being of the living. Offerings are made at ancestor tablets on the anniversaries of the birth and death of the individual.

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