Consuming in Hell: the Burning of Papier Mache Replicas of Consumer Products in the Chinese Culture

Francis Piron, University of Guam
EXTENDED ABSTRACT - Within the Chinese culture, paper has been burnt for millennia to accompany the departed on their journey to the netherworld and as a medium to carry relief for those already there. Eventually, and more so now, paper has been used to construct replicas of contemporary consumer products that are burnt for enjoyment and comfort in hell! This research traces the history of the ritual, offers, as an example, an inventory of in-store, available reproduced products, and reports on a series of in-depth interviews of consumers. Interviewees identify the products they wish to consume in the after-life and elaborate on their selection and reasons.
[ to cite ]:
Francis Piron (2004) ,"Consuming in Hell: the Burning of Papier Mache Replicas of Consumer Products in the Chinese Culture", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 31, eds. Barbara E. Kahn and Mary Frances Luce, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 683-683.