from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n.pl. Things, especially decorative objects, produced in or associated with eastern Asia.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Things from the “orient”, especially decorative objects from eastern Asia
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Some of this can be explained by the use of Aurelia as narrator, I suppose, but places the book securely in the tradition of orientalia using outsiders as stand-ins for the non-native readers — Shogun, or a lot of other genre fiction.
There was a whole period in US History where they determined that orientalia was THE thing.
Chinese figurines and 19th-century European orientalia comprising romantic images of dancing girls and harems.
And I was hardly shocked by the “Get Your Buddha on the Floor” or “Wok-n-Bowl, Let the Good Times Roll — Chinese Food and Bowling” t-shirts, only the latest splashes in the tidal wave of kitsch merchandising and “orientalia” that’s been stocking store shelves for years now.