The Solon Sable Tribute, Hunters of Inner Asia and Dynastic Elites at the Imperial Centre

in Inner Asia
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Abstract

This article discusses the political and cultural importance of the Qing sable tribute for the expression and maintenance of imperial authority by focusing on the Solon, the largest sable-hunting group of the Qing dynasty in Heilongjiang. The political use of fur tribute items at the Qing centre reveals how the privilege of wearing fur defined the boundaries of the ruling hierarchy and, therefore, why sable tribute throughout the dynasty was a mechanism for maintaining relations between the Manchu court and the hunting population. The high demand for sable and other furs by the Qing emperor and other members of the political elite explains why the Qing empire needed the hunting population and their native places in the borderlands.

The Solon Sable Tribute, Hunters of Inner Asia and Dynastic Elites at the Imperial Centre

in Inner Asia

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