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Continuing our surveys of ritual associations on the Hebei plain, the Jinghai region of Tianjin is an extremely fruitful area for fieldwork. Even by the 1990s Tianjin municipality (like Beijing) was largely rural, way beyond the city itself.
This article introduces two ritual groups in Jinghai, those of Lesser Huangzhuang and Yuanmengkou, both richly deserving more fieldwork than our team could manage in 1994 and 1995. Through the latter we found a network of Heaven and Earth Teachings sectarian associations—continuing our acquaintance with sectarian groups (Laofomen, Hunyuan, Hongyang, and so on) elsewhere on the Hebei plain.
As ever, such research requires a blend of fieldwork, textual study, local history for both imperial and modern eras, and an understanding of folk religion and the ritual soundscape.