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Horses, history, chariots and verses

By Deng Zhangyu | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2024-02-20 07:53

A lacquer ware figurine collected by the Jingzhou Museum shows the vivid imagination of the Chu people. CHINA DAILY

For instance, a sculpture in the collection of the Jingzhou Museum depicts a man standing on a phoenix. He has a beaklike mouth and a feathered tail, just like a bird. Beneath the phoenix is a toad with a bird's tail.

Jia says that the Chu people worshipped the phoenix and regarded it as their totem. Images of the mythological bird have been found carved on jade ware, lacquer ware and even woven onto the silk robes worn by nobles.

The site is close to many other royal tombs as it was located near the state capital. Large quantities of exquisitely made lacquer ware produced by the Chu people have been found in the area.

"Lacquer items were used in daily life, such as for cooking and also used to decorate musical instruments like drums. They were so well-made that most look more like pieces of art rather than handicrafts," Jia adds.

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