Tang Women- Apotheosis of Women's Power in China 唐代女性
Late Tang women with prominent golden hairpins-
Below: Early Song dynasty earring.
As such, women of the Tang Dynasty were fortunate to live at a time characterized by open-mindedness and liberal ideas. Tang noble women had the chance to learn history, politics, and even athletic skills. At the founding of this dynasty, Princess Pingyang personally participated in battles, having led a detachment of women to help her father, Emperor Gaozu. Princess Taiping, daughter of Emperor Gaozong, twice suppressed mutinies inside the imperial court at critical times.
From the reign of Emperor Gaozong to that of Emperor Suzong during the early and middle Tang Dynasty, there were altogether 98 princesses, of which 61 married, among whom 24 remarried, and four married three times.
This trend shook the very foundations of traditional feudal ethics. In the Tang Dynasty, 21 princesses became Daoist nuns, and they were known for their extravagant way of life in the temples, with no abstention from wine, partying, or men.
The imperial clan's last name of Li
Above: Late Tang noble women from the murals of Dunhuang.
It is characteristic of the robust and cosmopolitan spirit of the period that one of the favorite pastimes of its aristocratic ladies and gentlemen was polo, a game which originated in Persia. The participation of women in such athletic activities and their fondness for riding are worth emphasizing in the light of the very different ethos that was to prevail in post-Tang times.
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Late Tang, Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms era noblewoman, donor portrait