My 2004 book
- Plucking the winds: lives of village musicians in old and new China (Leiden: CHIME, with CD)
is a detailed historical ethnography of the ritual association of South Gaoluo village in Hebei—from empire to Republic, Maoist and reform eras. Under this revised sub-menu are some vignettes, on
- leading figures in the group
- the vocal liturgists
- other ritual associations in the village
- the New Year’s rituals
- the village Catholics, including the Boxer massacre and the Italian missionaries from the 1920s.
You can find much more material related to Gaoluo with the help of the Gaoluo tag in the sidebar—including posts/pages on
- precious scrolls 寶卷 (here and here)
- funeral rituals
- a village elder
- a village scholar
- customs of naming.
These overlap to some extent, so it’s worth reading them in conjunction. While they make for digestible reading, I do encourage you to read the book from cover to cover!
For an extensive series of field reports on other groups around the region, see under Local ritual. Further related themes are the ritual life of temples in old Beijing, and the Qujiaying association (posts linked here).
Before studying with Li Manshan in north Shanxi, my study of the whole history of Gaoluo was my most in-depth fieldwork, and in some ways it’s the most detailed ethnography I’ve done. For a comparison of my methods at the two sites, see here.