Ritual Is Theatre, Theatre Is Ritual; Tang-Ki: Chinese Spirit Medium Worship


by Chan, Margaret

Ritual Is Theatre, Theatre Is Ritual; Tang-Ki: Chinese Spirit Medium Worship

Price:  US$29.26   (SGD38.00*)
Format:  Paper Back, 184 pages
Published:  2006, Singapore, 1st Edition
ISBN:  9789812481153
SB#:  038325 (110)

About This Book

Tang-ki worship or spirit mediumship has its roots in pre-Chinese animism of more than 5000 years ago, but its practice is alive and evolving within the Hokkien communities of Taiwan and Southeast Asia. This engaging study is one of the very few about tangki-worship in Singapore. This phenomenon has received scant scholarly attention largely because it is seen by the educated as a mere superstitious practice. There are no sacred texts, nor canons, nor dogmas in tang-ki worship. The author reveals aspects of this practice that have never been recorded before. These include the drama and history of tang-ki worship; the costumes, make-up and props used; the religious significance of the rituals; the notion of tang-ki training; and the performance scripts used by the mediums. The author also discusses the social dynamics of tang-ki worship as a communal theatre and provides a provocative hypothesis on the religious nature of traditional Chinese theatre forms. It is held that the very act of taking on an image by an actor in theatre is a transmogrifying ritual where a mortal transforms into a god.


* Actual charges are made in Singapore Dollars (SGD).   SGD1.00 = US$0.77