Tablets for Government and Patrician
In ancient time, the system of influentialfamily is rather severe. In the chapter “On Wang Jian”, Qin Guan, a scholar ofthe Song Dynasty (420-479),says: “The Wangs and the Xies become the mostdistinguished families after the court of the Jin Dynasty (AD 265-420) appraiseand promote officials by their families.” With the development of imperialexamination system and the declining of influential family system, while, thetradition of son inheriting his late father’s honour and glorifying his familydon’t complete vanish. The concept of patrician still has a big influence. As aresult, tablet is become a form of glorying one’s family name. Tablets in thehall exhibit their probable types from the aspect of honour, official rank,family reputation and descent.
Tablets for Virtues,Achievements and Prestige
In ancient societies, the person who servesto the people or his good personality is worshiped by the world whoseoutstanding achievements and good deed will be recorded and declared withtablets. The form of inscribed tablet is called Jingbiao (confer aninscribed tablet on one person for his/her honour). “Xiaoyu” of Biographiesof Loyalty and Righteousness in New History of Tang says: “Honoringloyalty can urge the officials to preserve their moral integrity, whilepraising filial piety can harmony the people relations.” These tablets implymany aspects of society and humanity, which covering not only public service,good deed, loyalty and integrity, but also fostering, education, grace, offerand acceptance and so on.
Tablets for MedicalEthics and Educational enlightening
These tablets show the relationship ofdoctor-patient and teacher-student in ancient times. Medicine and educationhave a rich history in Chinawhich can be proved by some sayings such as “If not a good official, then agood doctor" and “a tutor for a day is a father for a lifetime”. Theformer saying shows that curing the sickness to save the patient will rendergreat service and the later that teaching other children will be seriousresponsibility. The exhibited tablets show us why the ancient good doctors areadmired by the people for them pursuing for knowledge of medicine, with moreemphasis on cultivation of medical ethics. So does education. A modal teacherfor his time will win the admiration for all ages.
The Choice Tablets
These are selected from nearly 2,000 tabletsin the museum in accordance with broadly standards such as time, author,calligraphy, carving ornamentation and its content. The reason for theclassification lies in the following: On the one hand, the visitors canunderstand and find out more their historical origins and cultural connotationsas well as the living environment during watching the tablets and emotions oftheir original owner; on the other hand it can cater to different visitortastes
Tablets for HappyEvent
In ancient time, when the official orbenevolent families have happy events（suchas wedding, birthday feast), they often can receive congratulatory tablets frompeople of all walks of life. Most tablets are full of splendor praise words tothe families, while some honestly express kindness and emotion of the donors.Except some ornate and flowery language, these tablets really represent thecustom of reciprocity and social behavior among the people of that time.
Tablets for Chastity, Loyalty and Filial Piety
Thesetablets are much used for eulogizing ancient womenwhose words and deeds meet not only “Three Cardinal Guides” (ruler guides subject, father guides son, andhusband guides wife), “Five Constant Virtues” (benevolence, righteousness, propriety, wisdom and fidelity), “Women’sthree Obediences” (to father beforemarriage, to husband after marriage, and to son after the death of husband)and Four Virtues (morality, properspeech, modest manner and diligent work) of the feudal ethical code, butalso “Neize”(The Rules in Household)and Nüjie (Lessons for Women). Ancient women have a tenacious ideathat a woman shall be faithful to her husband to the very end. In the chapter“Madam Wang” of Biographies of Women in TheHistory of Ming Dynasty, it says: “A woman shall how to do after herhusband died? To die for the died is the greatest honor, attend husband’sparents the second, and only keep chastity the third.” These tablets include such as suicide through fidelity, maintainingchastity, filial piety and fostering kids on ancient widow deeds, which deeplyreflect their situations after a family misfortune in that time.
Tanghao refers to the name of a household in ancient China. These tablets reflectthe survival of China
clan culture. DifferentTanghaos display different historical origins, values and beliefs of eachfamily. Tanghao tablets are mostly collected from South China, with a few fromthe Luoyang (a northern China city) areas, which reflect the prosperityof the southern Chinaclan culture and the fading of the northern in the Qing dynasty. The culturedifferences between the south and north China also can be told fromtheir modes, calligraphy, etc.
Tabletsfor Temples andAncestral Halls
These tablets shall be the most famous in Luoyang. In the NorthernWei Dynasty (386-534)alone there are 1,367 temples in Luoyang in records history, which we imagine theprosperity of the tablets for temples. For historical reasons, such tabletswere ruined severely. At present, these tablets can be seenonly are some survival ofthe Qing dynasty and the Republic of China in remote mountainous areas, vaguely reflecting the custom of Luoyangneighborhood in that time.