Li Manshan performs the Invitation, 2009 (photo: Chen Yu).
Li Manshan decorates a coffin, Houguantun 2013.
Li Peisen (1910–85) played a crucial part in the lineage’s Daoist transmission.
Li Qing on sheng, 1991.
Bestowing Food manual, last page. Text: Recorded by Li Qing, disciple resident in Upper Liangyuan village, the Complete Numinous Treasure Comprehensive Ritual for Bestowing Food manual in 69 pages, completed on the 3rd day of the 5th moon, 1982 CE.
Li Qing (left) with fellow wind players Yang Xixi and Shi Ming, 1959.
Informal session at Li Qing’s house, 1991. Left to right: Li Qing (sheng), his second son Yushan (yunluo), Liu Zhong (guanzi), Li Zengguang (drum), Kang Ren (sheng), Wu Mei.
Li Peisen’s cave-dwelling in Yang Pagoda village, where he spent the entire Maoist period relatively undisturbed
North Shanxi Arts Work Troupe, 1959. Li Qing front row, far right. His four years there (1958–62) were a brief interlude within a lifetime of ritual practice.
Golden Noble at the soul hall, with conch and flag.
Motor-bikes and mobile phones have brought subtle changes to ritual practice.
The shengguan group, 2011: left to right Li Bin, Wu Mei, Yang Ying.
The ritual percussion instruments: right to left, drum, bo cymbals, guo small cymbals, conch, yunluo gongs, dangdang gong, nao cymbals.
Over the day the Daoists make seven processions from scripture hall to soul hall and back, as well as processions to the sites of Fetching Water, Hoisting the Pennant, the Invitation, the burial, and so on.
Relaxing in the scripture hall between rituals, Golden Noble and Wu Mei amused by my notebook.
Li Qing leading the Pardon, 1991. My first visit.
Exorcistic talismans are pasted around the house of the deceased.
Li Bin (Li Manshan’s son, 9th generation) on sheng, 2011.
Vocal trio, 2001: Li Manshan, Golden Noble, Li Bin.
The wind instruments, 2003. The candle wax is used to tune the sheng mouth-organs. The dizi flute has fallen out of use since then.
The earliest instruments in the Li family collection, from the Hongwu era of the Ming dynasty. Seriously though folks, I found these in the county-town as gifts for the young son of Li Manshan’s daughter.
Ritual manuals of Li Qing, in Li Manshan’s collection