North china heretofore has been only minimally involved in the modern anthropological analysis of Chinese patrilineal kinship. In this region, lineage organization prior to the Communist era comprised a social structure, symbolism, and arrangement of ritual that call into question the line of anthropological inquiry that has focused almost exclusively on the linkages between a lineage's corporate resources and its social cohesion. The characteristics of lineages in Yangmansa, a village approximately seventy-five kilometers south of Beijing, appear to have been typical of this broader north China pattern considerably different from those associated with the southeastern Chinese model that has dominated the anthropological literature. Although many elements of northern lineage organization are found also in the southeast and elsewhere in China, they are combined in the north into a distinctive arrangement of cemeteries, graves, ancestral scrolls, ancestral tablets, and corporate groups linked to a characteristic annual ritual cycle. I deal first with the expression in Yangmansa of key features of the north China pattern, but also draw on other sources to fill out the picture and establish its broader regional relevance.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.