Axinn Center 219
Old Chapel Road
Middlebury, VT 05753
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Open to the Public

Ruth Dunnell, James P. Storer Professor of Asian History, Kenyon College
In the flourishing field of Mongol studies, questions regarding the prominent position of women in Mongol ruling circles have generated much new scholarship. Marriage alliances played a crucial part in creating and sustaining nomadic confederations, and in the political influence exercised by wives and mothers of Mongol princes and khans, especially those from a few powerful allied lineages. Royal women also acquired property, along with servants, soldiers and retainers, through maintaining their own ordo, or palace-camp. Like all Mongol nobles and members of the extended imperial family who maintained ordos, they shared in the distribution of wealth generated by imperial success. My talk will broaden the lens on royal Mongol women’s property and position by viewing it within another context—that of the native ritual system adapted by Mongol rulers in the best documented case of Yuan China. Women’s function in maintaining sacrifices to deceased khans links the ordo system of royal consorts with the Mongols’ preservation of a distinct nomadic and corporate identity.

Sponsored by:
History; Religion; East Asian Studies

Contact Organizer

Wilkinson, Claire
(802) 443-5354