Exposure of severed heads of alleged perpetrators of the ‘Kucheng massacre’, Huashan, near Gutian, Fujian
University of Bristol - Historical Photographs of China reference number: Os04-083. Photo from an album (UoB reference Os04) kept in the School of Oriental and African Studies Archives, London (SOAS reference MS 380 876/4). No caption in the album for this photo, but reversed out of the negative is the caption: ‘Vegetarian Heads at Wha Shan.’ The photograph shows five receptacles (presumably containing the heads of executed men) hanging high in a pine tree. Wha Shan = Hwa Shan (Huashan). Related to the killing of eleven missionaries and Chinese Christians on 1 August 1895, at the mission houses in Huashan (华山), near Kucheng (Gutian), Fujian Province, by ‘Vegetarian’ rebels, who were part of a religious movement called zhaijiao (‘fasting school’), so called because they took vows of vegetarianism. This image was reproduced in an article entitled ‘The Martyrs of Ku-Cheng’ by Henry Mostyn, published in ‘The Wide World Magazine’, August-September 1899, page 80, and captioned: ‘The heads in baskets hung on a tree as a warning to others’.
Black and white photograph
Archives & Special Collections, SOAS Library, University of London