Northern Dragons: Transformations of Manchu Male Identity during the Early and Mid-Qing (1644-1795)
Date of Award
Honors Thesis (Colby Access Only)
Colby College. East Asian Studies Dept.
In the past, scholarship on the ethnic and masculine identities of Qing emperors has primarily focused on social, political, and legal institutions. While material culture has also served as an analytical tool, no comprehensive study of imperial male garments and their significance in the creation of identity exists. I examine the clothing of the first four Qing emperors in an effort to understand how these men negotiated their role as inheritors of a nomadic legacy and an ever-expanding and diverse empire. Through these case studies, I find that the identity creations and transformations (or “self-visions”) that each emperor crafted for himself resulted in a rich and complex imperial identity by the end of the Qianlong era. Through carefully selecting and fusing different cultural ideals, the early Qing emperors created unique identities for themselves that ultimately transformed the image of imperial male strength in China.
Qing, Manchu, China, material culture, ethnicity, masculinity
Recommended CitationMasland, Fiona R., "Northern Dragons: Transformations of Manchu Male Identity during the Early and Mid-Qing (1644-1795)" (2012). Honors Theses. Paper 641.
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