Thursday, March 31, 2022

Amazing Chinese Characters (491) Family Name - 姓

 The shell bone script of character Family Name is 

The left part is character Living (Post 352), here it means Producing or Giving birth. The right part is character Woman (Post 20). In the ancient time, people knew only who was their mother. Children from one mother are a family, they should have a same family name after mother's family name. 

No bronze and big seal scripts are found for this character, which is unusual because most of time, the shell bone script is lack because it is the oldest script, the bronze script characters are not many, it may be missing too. However, the big seal script characters are a lot. This is my first time to see character with shell bone script found, but not big seal script. 

The reason why the situation occurred is unknown. It may be the society changed to patriarchal society in which family is centered on father, the family name is after Father's family name. 

Matriarchal society in China when was about 10,000 - 6,000+ years ago, from about 5,500+ to 4,000+ ago, China was in patriarchal society, 500 - 2,000 years earlier than what the shell bone with shell bone script carved on was found. If the shell bone script of character Family Name was created in matriarchal society, the shell bone script would be pushed at least 500 years earlier, which needs experts to prove.

The small seal script of the character is

The left is character Woman, the right is character Living. The two flipped positions from shell bone script, which happened in character Good - 好 (Post 27).

The clerical script of the character is 

Similar to small seal script.

The song typeface of the character is

Same as clerical script.

The Pinyin of character 姓 is Xing4.

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