Cultural Grounding for the Transmission of the “Moon Man” Figure in the Tale of the “Predestined Wife” (ATU 930A)
Abstract

Focusing on the “Moon Man” (or matchmaker) in the tale “Predestined Wife” (ATU 930A) in Chinese examples, this article applies the historic-geographic method in a broad cultural context by exploring how the Moon Man figure in the tale has been transmitted and transformed over the past two millennia and is still alive in oral tradition, and how elements in tales rise and fall because of their relations to the fundamental values in the culture. This author argues that any key element in an “imported” tale must have familiar characteristics enabling it to adapt to the local audience and take root and, in turn, strengthen hidden beliefs and values, and that the transformation or migration of tales is the precursor of cultural integration that continues in our everyday practices.


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