Trade between Tibet and the Tang Empire 

Zhemian (Ochre face) was originally an “ethnic description” of the facial makeup practices of the Tibetans, or Tubo, in the Tang History and other Chinese-language historical sources. Across two centuries of Tang-Tibetan interaction, “zhemian” influenced culture in Chang’an and the Central Plains. After comprehensive analysis, these phenomena arouse our interest: The assertion in the Tang History that Songtsen Gampo “ordered the prohibition of zhemian” is not factual, but was rather wishful thinking on the part of one faction at the Chang’an court; that the opinions in Chinese areas about zhemian were by no means united; that it was a symbol of differences between “Chinese and Foreigners,” and that urban women saw this as a novel and popular fashion.

The talk begins at 5 pm.

Please RSVP for this free event here.

Li Yongxian

About the Speaker:

Li Yongxian 李永宪 recently retired as Chair of the Archaeology Department and Professor in the Tibetan Research Institute and the University Museum at Sichuan University in Chengdu. His primary specialization in recent years has been the prehistoric and historic archaeology of the Tibetan Plateau.  He has also served as an adjunct professor of Anthropology at the University of Washington and visiting lecturer in the Mongolian and Tibetan Institute at National Cheng Chi University in Taiwan.    

This event is sponsored by the Himalaya Program, Contemporary Tibetan Studies Program, Asian Studies and Department of Anthropology. 

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