Chinese poem illustration: 唐风 椒聊/ Tang Wind – Burning Pepper by Anonymous
Full video also available at Bilibili: 唐风 椒聊
This influencial poem connected the Sichuan pepper(花椒) with fertility which was valued by Chinese through the history. While the connection with fertility only appeared since Han dynasty which is some 800-1000 years after this poem.
By digging into the characters 聊, 升 and 且(ju1), a new interpretation is developed: another condolence poem about a grand ceremony to ancestors, burning pepper is one of the sacrifice. After this video, I also found out the original form of character 蕃 is not with the grass radical, but rather a up flow of air radical, which means burning meat or pepper to let the smell and smoke going up, its descendant character might be 燔. The original writing is here: https://www.zdic.net/hans/%E8%95%83
May 2022 note: 椒聊 is a phonetic loan word of 椒燎 which means burning the pepper, a special ritual to ancestors.
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