spill container; spills (ritual & belief: religious buildings & furnishings)

Tubular bamboo container with decorative ridges at the ends, containing 21 spills, kau cim. Some of the sticks have Chinese characters on one side.

Each fortune stick is a numbered section of bamboo kept with many others in a bamboo cylinder. Early in the New Year the petitioner visits the temple to find answers to his questions about the year to come. He shakes the cylinder in such a way that one of the bamboo sticks falls out. Its number is then checked against a series of written fortunes kept in the temple.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk