1. Female shamans, “poisonous” woman, and Woman Peng.

    Three quotes:

    In Yongping prefecture of Bei Zhili, female Shaman [sic] included various categories, such as taiozhaogu (aunt broom), jigu (aunt winnowing basket), zhengu (aunt needle), and weigu (aunt reed). They all claimed to provide the service of driving away supernatural beings in order to cure people’s sickness.


    Sangu liupo is a collective name referring to nine categories of women [who] appeared during the Song, or even earlier. In Confucian morality, these people were generally considered destructive or poisonous, but they became very popular among the commoners in late imperial China…the sangu were nigu (Buddhist nuns), daogu or nuguan (Taoist nuns), and guagu (women diviners). Liupo were yapo (women brokers), meipo (woman marriage brokers), shipo (female Shaman), qianpo (procuresses or female owners and managers of brothels), yaopo (woman doctors), [and] wenpo (midwives)…the reputation of sangu liupo was so bad among Confucian intellectuals that they named sangu liupo “gui zhong zhi zei” (evils in women’s inner chambers).


    In 1553, Woman Peng was called into the Forbidden City in Beijing and cured the eye problem of the empress dowager. The empress dowager liked Woman Peng so much that Peng was allowed to stay in the palace until she gave birth to a child there. Traditionally, the average woman could not enter the Forbidden City.

    We need to know more about Woman Peng. Preferably in a series of books, which could be social critique, nuxia, or Wodehousian comedy. 


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