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Shang Dynasty of China


The "Shang" dynasty is considered as one of the first dynasties of china. It ruled the parts of northern and central china. The Shang dynasty has made a great contribution to the Chinese civilization.

The Shang society is divided into different classes. It was based on aristocratic society in which the king enjoys power over military nobility. He appointed rulers for different territories. The priest class had occupied the position underneath the aristocratic class. The priest used to maintain records of government and perform religious ceremonies. The peasants lied in the bottom in

social hierarchy. The rich lived in elaborate homes and palaces made of mud and wood. The poor lived in houses built up with mud against the outside walls of the city.

In the field of arts, the Shang dynasty made a tremendous progress. Musical instruments were made of bronze. Drums, copper cymbals and Xun are some of the musical instruments. Sculptures of different types were carved on bronze, jade and pottery wares. Beautiful pictures were also carved on stones, animal bones and horns. Sang dynasty dance were of two different kinds: the religious and military dance. Dancers used flags, weapons, hunting and fishing equipments and sticks full of feathers. It can be noted that the Shang dynasty marked the beginning of architecture that contributes to the cultural heritage of china.

The Religion of the Shang people was based on ancestors worship and many gods. They were highly religious. They worshipped the "Shang Ti", lord of the High, which exercised extreme power over lesser gods, the sun, the moon, the wind, the rain and other natural forces and places. Worship of ancestors is an important part in their religion.

They pray to their ancestors and gods by offering sacrifices. During the death of a king, a large number of slaves and prisoners are often sacrificed and buried with the king. A sacrifice is also made at events like founding of place or time.

An important contribution of the Shang dynasty was the invention of writing. Shang is the only one dynasty of which written records are found. Written records are found on oracle bones used for divination. The bones came from a number of animals but were done exclusively on turtle shells. The invention of writing enables the government to organize on a large scale. The use of bronze and bronze and chariots weapons in warfare during the period make them to maintain their supremacy.

The Shang dynasty developed the rudiments of Hanfu. Clothes of the Shang culture show a rich cultural tradition. The styles of Shang clothing has two types: the "Yi" and the "Shang". The "Yi" is worn on the top and the "Shang" is a skirt that is worn beneath. The sleeves cut were narrow and Sash was used in place of buttons. People use different dress for different occasions. Primary colors and green were used in the clothes. The color of the fabrics was generally in warm tones.



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