Ceremonial Tube (Cong)

Ceremonial Tube (Cong)

c. 1600-1046 BC

China, Shang dynasty

(c.1600-c.1046 BC)

Jade (nephrite)

Overall: 20.6 cm (8 1/8 in.)

Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1915.630


The cong, a cylindrical tube with a square outer section, was one of the most impressive jade implements used in ancient rites. The ritual text Rites of Zhou mentions the use of the cong for the worship of the earth. However, its function and meaning in the earlier Neolithic societies are not completely understood.

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