Li Manshan performs the Invitation, 2009 (photo: Chen Yu).
Li Manshan doing paperwork for Hoisting the Pennant ritual, 2003
Li Manshan decorates a coffin, Houguantun 2013.
Ritual painting (detail), Li Peisen 1940s
Li Qing leading the Pardon, 1991. My first visit.
The Pardon, 1991. Left to right: Yuan Lishan, Li Qing, Wang Chang, Li Peisen’s grandson Li Yushan, Wu Mei
Li Qing on sheng, 1991.
Li Qing copying ritual document, 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 Peisen (1910–85) played a crucial part in the lineage’s Daoist transmission.
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.
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.
Motor-bikes and mobile phones have brought subtle changes to ritual practice.
Vocal trio, 2001: Li Manshan, Golden Noble, Li Bin.
The shengguan group, 2011: left to right Li Bin, Wu Mei, Yang Ying.
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.
Fetching Water, Pansi village 2011
Golden Noble at the soul hall, with conch and flag.
Li Bin (Li Manshan’s son, 9th generation) on sheng, 2011.
At the grave, Yangguantun 2011.
Exorcistic talismans are pasted around the house of the deceased.
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 ritual percussion instruments: right to left, drum, bo cymbals, guo small cymbals, conch, yunluo gongs, dangdang gong, nao cymbals.
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