François Louis will give a Work-in-Progress talk on Thursday, September 20, at 12:15 pm. His talk is entitled “Early Liao-Dynasty Ritual Objects in Light of Chinese and Turkic Traditions.”

The nomadic Kitans formed a “Chinese-style” dynasty in 916—the Liao—but it is open to question to what degree Chinese culture mattered to the new ruling elite. This work-in-progress talk presents two strands of research on the formative stages of the ritual material culture of the Kitan-Liao dynasty. The first is a mostly text-based reconstruction of the Kitan appropriation of Chinese ritual paraphernalia, clothing in particular. The second is a comparative examination of Liao archaeological data in light of Turkic finds from Mongolia and Siberia. This may be interpreted as material evidence for little-documented contacts between Kitans, Uighurs, and Kirghiz.

François Louis is an Associate Professor at Bard Graduate Center. His current research focuses on the art and material culture of the Kitan-Liao dynasty (907-1125) in northern China.