鴟尾 chīwěi

https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000009

Terms

  • chīwěi (preferred) (Pinyin)1
  • 鴟尾 (Traditional Chinese)2
  • 鴟尾 (Simplified Chinese)
  • ch'ih-wei (Wade-Giles)3
  • owl tail; hawk tail (lit.) (English)
  • sea beasts (English)4

Note (brief)

    A tile component used at both ends of the roof ridge (zhengji 正脊) of traditional Chinese palatial halls(diantang lei jianzhu 殿堂類建築). Their specific shape can include owl or hawk tails (chiwei 鴟尾), dragon tails (longwei 龍尾), and beast heads (shoutou 獸頭). Different names for this feature were also used over time, including sea-beast tails (chiwei 蚩尾), shrine tails (ciwei 祠尾), owl or hawk beaks (chiwen 鴟吻), central lips or jaws(zhengwen 正吻) and great lips or jaws (da wen 大吻). Before the mid-Tang dynasty chiwei were usually a simple tail arching inwards and decorated with fin or feather patterns on the outer edge. In the mid-Tang we see the added pattern of a beast head with an open mouth, and the tail gradually transitioning into that of a fish. The chiwei in the mid-Tang dynasty cliff relief carvings at Lingyun Monastery, Leshan, Sichuan, for instance, are shaped like the head of a fish with a wide mouth engulfing the ends of the roof ridge. Beginning in the Yuan Dynasty, the chiwei tail arched outwards instead of inwards. In the Ming and Qing dynasties, the beast's head opened its mouth around the ridge, the tail curved outward, and the end (duanbu 端部) changed from bifurcated (fencha 分叉) to curled (卷曲). Furthermore, dragons and swords were attached to the body of the beast and its shape was squared off. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, chiwei were commonly called chiwen, shouwen, or dawen. The term appears in the statutory documents of official histories like the Chenshu and the Songshi where the types and grades of buildings that can use chiwei are regulated, thus it would have been a marker of high status. Provisions for the size, manufacture, man hours, and other regulations for the use of chiwei on different types of buildings are outlined in the Yingzao fashi (1103 CE), 13.5a-b.

    鴟尾指建築正脊兩端的瓦作構件。《陳書》、《宋史》等官修史書中對於可以使用鴟尾的建築類型和等級具有規定,從文獻記載中可推論鴟尾壹般用於高等級建築。1103年出版的《營造法式》中對用於不同規格的建築上的鴟尾的尺寸、做法、功限、料例有所規定。

Related concepts

    鴟吻; 龍尾; 吻獸; 正吻

Works Cited

Any information without attribution has been created following the Syriaca.org editorial guidelines.

  • 1 ATTCAT 2018Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; FU, Traditional Chinese Architecture: Twelve Essays, 351.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 2 李, YZFS, 13.5a-b.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 陈, 《营造法式》辞解, 427.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 潘, 《营造法式》解读, 163.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 王, 中国古建筑术语辞典, 329-330.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 王, 中國建築圖解詞典, 9.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 村田, 中国鸱尾史略(上), 57-64+51.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 村田, 中国鸱尾史略(下), 67-68+17.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 黃, 中国鴟尾の起源と変遷, 68-100.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 3 LIANG, Chinese architecture, 42.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
  • 4 GUO, A Visual Dictionary of Chinese Architecture 中國建築英漢雙解辭典, 24.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

Broad Match: Roofing Tiles

How to Cite This Entry

JIA Tingli 賈亭立, “ 鴟尾 chīwěi” in Architectura Sinica last modified February 14, 2020, https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000009.

Bibliography:

JIA Tingli 賈亭立, “ 鴟尾 chīwěi.” In Architectura Sinica, edited by Tracy Miller. Entry published May 22, 2019. https://architecturasinica.org/keyword/k000009.

About this Entry

Entry Title: 鴟尾 chīwěi

Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

  • Tracy Miller, editor, Architectura Sinica
  • JIA Tingli 賈亭立, entry contributor, “ 鴟尾 chīwěi

Additional Credit:

  • Initial research and revision by JIA Tingli 賈亭立
  • Peer review by ATTCAT 2018
  • Editing and proofreading by Tracy Miller
  • Data entry and revision by Tracy Miller
  • Adding citations Melanie Lu
  • Revising title statement by SUN Zheng 孫正

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