Bi Xi is a stone pedestal in the form of a
stele, initially used in funerary complexes of Chinese
dignitaries, though later also to commemorate important events. It is
believed by some that the tradition of using a tortoise as a pedestal may
have derived from the Hindu legend of the
Churning of the Ocean of Milk (fig.),
incarnated in the
of a tortoise
with its shell (fig.).
could be supported by the meaning of the
name Bi Xi, i.e. being capable to
support great weight.