Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Terracotta warriors of Xi'an

These authorized contemporary replicas of the terracotta army of Xi'an are made of clay, bronze and even jade. Today wealthy people can commission a statue with their own faces. Originally, the artists also based each figure on the face of a real man who lived back then. Many have open hands like the kneeling archer in the foreground; the warriors once carried real bronze weapons.

The clothing and hairstyles reveal the different ranks. For instance, the simple topknot worn by the ordinary soldier is positioned to give the right-handed archer (the majority) easy access to the arrows from the quiver on his shoulder. Generals wear beards, and body armour over cotton robes, square toed shoes and flat backward-sloping masses of hair. Chariot drivers wear special gauntlets as well as padded armour to protect their necks.

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