The Art of Rice. Spirit and Sustenance in Asia. ROY W. HAMILTON.

The Art of Rice. Spirit and Sustenance in Asia.

Los Angeles. UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History. 2003. Stock ID #177565

Map, colour photographic illustrations, 552pp, notes, bibliography, index, paperback. 30 x 21cm. Covers a little faded in places but overwise very good.

The title of this volume, 'The Art of Rice. Spirit and Sustenance in Asia.' unmistakably declares its scope and ambition. Its sheer size, with thirty-five essays and additional entries written by twenty-seven authors from ten different countries, is further testimony to its impressive aims. This book deals in depth with single ethnic groups, particular artistic genres, or systems of visual culture that can be traced from a point of origin to its diaspora, this effort encompasses the vast geographical construct called "Asia" and the innumerable ways that the growing and eating of rice have become intimately bound to aspects of personal identity; notions of family, community, and state; and systems of religious belief and ritual activity. More than three billion people, most of them in Asia, consider rice the staple of their diet.

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