Apart from their ritual manuals and gongche solfeggio scores, all four ritual associations in North and South villages of Gaoluo have collections of images, including god paintings, diaogua hangings and donors’ lists, from various stages since the 19th century. Here is a selection (for details, see my Plucking the winds, pp.43–56, 203–205, 277–82 and passim).
South Gaoluo yinyuehui
Diaogua hangings are displayed along the alleyways during the New Year’s rituals. Each group conststed of four paintings (yilu 一路 “one road”). The 1930 donors’ list commemorates the commissioning of forty-three such groups from the Painter Sun from Doujiazhuang village in Zhuozhou nearby. 108 such images were still on display during our visit at New Year 1989, depicting the story of Houtu, the Three Kingdoms, and scenes from The Ennobling of the Gods, notably the specacular battles for the town of West Qi—the Star Wars of its day.
After the Great Leap Forward and the famine, the revival of the early 1960s (however short-lived) was significant for the transmission of traditional culture. Not only were the ritual associations reinvigorated (cf. Guanyin Hall donors’ list below), but the village opera troupe also revamped their equipment (Plucking the winds, pp.143–5). Like the ritual associations, they too sought donations from all the village households:
North Gaoluo yinyuehui
South Gaoluo Guanyin Hall (Southern Lantern Association)