In the ancient China, live burial is practiced when the royals passed away. They will bury treasures along with maids. It is believed that life continues after death; treasures are to be spent and maids continue to serve their masters.
Then, statues made from clay substitute living human from the burial. Example, the troop of 兵马俑 buried together with 秦始皇.
Evolving to now, treasures have in turn became gold and silver joss paper we burnt, and maids became the paper dolls.
Asian Art History: this is the damn thing i am studying now~