Exhibit #26 Sign
Exhibit #25 Sign
Mongolian Yurt sign text
Like the desert tribes of North America, the Mongolians are nomadic people. The three independently developed tents as the most practical living quarters for the wandering life. The Mongolian tent, or yurt is supported by a framework attached to 'tent-poles,' then covered with felt. The floor, too, is felt and the interior walls are white silk. With a skylight in the center and a door that always faces south to avoid the cold wind, these dwellings are surprisingly warm and comfortable.
Unnumbered exhibit & Sign
The Mongolian Yurt sign text
The typical dwelling of the nomadic Mongols is the Yurt. It has a domed roof with a height of about 8 feet and a circular wall with a diameter of 10-13 feet. Wicker, covered on the outside with a type of felt or leather, is used as the building material. The Yurt is held together with leather straps and is typically set on a foundation of earth and stones. Its interior is not partitioned and usually consists of a stove in the center and beds placed around the stove. Other pieces of furniture are placed against the walls.
From the Tour Guides:
Mongolia, the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan, and the Mongolian Yurt
North of the Great Wall in China- therefore- our Mongolia is on the far side of our Great Wall.
Every Autumn Mongolians gather for the Nadam Fair. They compete in traditional wrestling matches, horse races and archery contests. (Nadam- the 3 sports that men play) Along with the ceremonies of Obo worship. The shrine is built of dry branches, stone and earth- Obo refers to Mountain god !
The thirteenth century Mongolian Warlord Genghais Khan created a vast empire by conquering most of Asia- westward as far as the Black Sea.
MAUSOLEUM OF GENGHAIS KHAN !
Legend tells- while looking at beautiful scenery in Inner Mongolia, he said "This shall be my burial place." He died a natural death during a campaign against western Xia in -1227 A.D. Mongol tribe was charged with guarding his tomb, time passed, forest grew over the tomb- all traces lost. Later near Echinehoro ("Grave of the Leader") this grand mausoleum was built. His body was to be in the back part of the main hall with his 3 wives, but his body has been lost ! The body of his 4th son and that son's wife lie in the East Hall- in the West Hall are displayed the warrior's weapons.
MONGOLIAN YURT !
Mongolians- Native Americans, tribes of Arabia (Nomadic people) all 3 groups independently developed tents. The Yurt- easily collapsible wooden framework attached to tent poles covered with canvas-felt sandwiched material. The floor is also felt. Interior walls covered with white silk- skylight in the center door facing south to avoid cold wind, surprisingly warm and comfortable.
THE MAUSOLEUM OF GENGHIS KHAN
The mausoleum of Genghis Khan is located in the rich flat grasslands of Ejin Horo Qi, Ihju League, in the Nei Monggol Autonomous Region. The mausoleum is composed of 3 great golden domed halls, each communicating with the others.
The central hall is composed of a front and a back hall.
On entering the front hall one sees a portrait of Genghis Khan with his bright piercing eyes and heroic spirit. In the front part of the hall is a table on which are placed sacrificial offerings and the sabre said to be used by Genghis Khan. On either side of the portrait are red-tasselled spears with solid yellow shafts. There is an anecdote on spears, which are regarded as sacred by the Mongols. Once in a battle, Genghis Khan was beaten and was in a disadvantageous position. He knelt on the ground and kowtowed to the gods, praying help. Suddenly a black spear flew down from the sky but remained in the air so that Genghis Khan could not reach it with his hands. The Khan then swore to the gods that after the battle he would sacrifice a thousand sheep to them and the spear came down- Seizing it, he fought his way out of the tight encirclement. To this day the Mongols still hold memorial ceremonies for spears with offerings of goatskins, new red tassels and elegiac verses. In the middle of the back hall are 3 yellow silk tents in which are placed the coffins of posed to be used by Genghis Khan in his expeditions is also kept in the coffin hall. 2 courtyards lead respectively from the back hall to the east and west side halls. 13th of the 5th month of the lunar calendar. A white horse is tied to a golden post right before the ceremony which starts with classical music.
Offerings are then made in the following order: pieces of silk called Hada (usually used as greeting gifts), backs of sheep, sacrificial lanterns, pastries, joss sticks and candles, mare's milk and fruit.
From the Guidebooks associated with Shenzhen and Florida Splendid China:
Shenzhen Splendid China guidebook-Nadam Fair
Every Autumn, Mongolians from all over the land gather for the joyous Nadam fair. Here they compete in traditional wrestling matches, horseraces, and archery contests. Along with the fair are ceremonies of Obo worship. The Mongolians build a shrine of dry branches, stones and earth called Obo in reverence of the Mountain God.
Shenzhen Splendid China guidebook- The Mausoleum of Genghis Khan
The Mausoleum of Genghis khan is located 15 kilometres southeast of Echinhoro in Inner Mongolia.
Genghis Khan, whose name was called Temujin, established Yuan Dynasty. During his reign, his military accomplishments were unparalleled at the moment and his domain extended to Mid-Asia and South Russia. he died of an illness in 1227. According to folklore, Genghis Khan, leading his troops and passing Echinhoro, was fascinated by the beautiful scenery there and said, "This shall be my burial place when I die."
The existing mausoleum, rebuilt after the liberation of China, occupies an area of over 1,500 square metres.
The main group of buildings are composed of three Mongolian-yurt-styled grand palaces communicating to the veranda buildings. The octagonal Memorial Hall in the main hall where the statute of Genghis Khan is housed is 266 metres high and the two corridors are covered with exquisitely painted frescoes depicting the life story of Genghis Khan. At the back hall where it once served as the bedroom are placed with four yellow Mongolian yurts to enshrine the coffins of the couple of Genghis Khan and the couple of his grandson, Gui You.
the palaces on two sides of the main hall measure 233 metres high. the right palace is placed with the coffins of the couple of Genghis Khan's fourth son, Tuo Lei whereas valuable relics of a long spear, double-edged sword, saddle and tablewares once used by Genghis Khan are displayed on the left palace.
Genghis Khan died in 1227 but his coffin was moved again and again and later was put at the Taer Lamasery in Huangzhong county, Qinghai. In 1954, the state allotted money to build a new mausoleum which was completed in 1956 and the coffin was once again transported back from Qinghai to be laid in the new mausoleum on 17th March (Lunar Calendar). Thus, this date becomes the Memorial Day of Genghis Khan. Henceforth, Mongolian people from far and near gather together on the pasture of the new mausoleum to hold the memorial services and organize various kinds of activities annually.
The Mausoleum of Genghis Khan on Splendid China is reproduced on the scale of 1:15. It is constructed in an artistic, unique style. There are designs of clouds on the rooftop made by patterning together blue glazed tiles inlaid with golden yellow glazed bricks, resplendent and magnificent. Seen against white clouds drifting in a blue sky and under the shade of green trees, it looks imposed and radiant.
Eastern Turkestan Exhibits
Exhibit#29 & Sign
Tomb of Apak Hoja sign text
Xiang Fei's Tomb
How did this Moslim style tomb come to be built? As with so much beautiful architecture, it was done for the love of a woman. When Qing Dynasty Emperor Qianlong defeated and killed the rebellious Uygur warlord Hu Ji Zhan, he took his beautiful widow to be his imperial concubine. Because she had been graced at birth with a wondrous bodily fragrance he gave her the title, Xiang Fei (Fragrant Imperial Concubine.) To relieve her homesickness, he spent a fortune building her a palace with a classic Moslem theme. Her tomb is distinctly Muslim too, with vivid colors inlaid on the exterior walls.
Exhibit #30 & Sign
Id Kah Mosque sign text
Founded by Mohammed in 610, Islam slowly spread from Medina where Mohammed preached to the rest of the Arabian peninsula and then through military victories and conversions to the entire world. Today with 800 million Muslims in the world, it is second only to Christianity in size.
This huge mosque in Kashgar is among the best known in the world. It holds over 10,000 worshippers. In the mosque there are no idols because followers of the Islamic religion do not believe in them. And like other mosques, this one is also used as a place for Islamic lectures.
Unnumbered exhibit & sign
Bazaar in Kashiga sign text
The city of Kashiga in Xinjiang is about 90% Uygur Muslim. Here near the site of the Id Kah Mosque is the Muslim marketplace which they call a bazaar, of which are sold goods and produce from all over China.
From the Tour Guides:
ID KAH Mosque
The Id Kah Mosque, located in Kashigam, is an Islamic Mosque that can hold up 6000 people in its walls. There are no religious idols located throughout the complex because the Islamic do not believe in religious idols. Also women are not allowed within the mosque because they are not allowed within Islamic complexes.
Xiang Fei's Tomb
(Known to Eastern Turkestanis as Tomb of Appak Hoja)
This tomb was built for a woman who was said to be graced from birth with what is described as a wonderous fragrance Her maiden name was "musk deer, " and she was a woman who was taken concubine when the southern part of Xin Jiang became a part of the Chinese empire. She was brought to Beijing by general Zhao Hui and her beauty so captivated Emperor Qianlong that he made her an imperial concubine with the title "Xiang Fei," meaning fragrant imperial concubine. Before she died she left word that she wished for her remains to sent back to her homeland and the emperor was said to have returned her remains to her home land, but a recent study of the imperial tombs reveals that her remains were actually buried in the Eastern Mausoleum of the Qing royal family outside of Beijing.
ISLAMISM, IMAM MOSQUE: ARABIAN COLOR OF XINJIANG
In the Middle East, but the folk customs and the style of architecture in Xinjiang. Xinjiang 7 minority nationalities, the Uygur, the Kazak, the Hui, the Kirgiz, the Tajik, the Uzbek and the Tatar, all believe in Islamism. On both sides of the magnificent tower-gate, there are two columnar announcement towers where every eve and dawn the imams heralds stand solemnly at the windows and voice the call, with their hands cupped around their mouth, to remind the Moslems of the praying hour. According to the Hegira (the flight of Mohammed from Mecca to Medina on July 15, A.D. 622), the Moslem calendar reckons time from July 16, A.D. 622, based on a cycle of 30 years, 19 of which have 354 days each and 11 of which are leap years having 355 days each. Therefore, the year 1980 is the first year of the 15th century of the Moslem calendar. Lesser Bairam. (the Festival of Fastbreaking) and corban (the Sacrifice Festival) are two major Islamic festivals. Lesser Bairam is on the first day of the tenth month of the Moslem calendar. One month before that, the Moslems begin their fasting, that means they will not eat all day until sunset, when they begin to cook. The fasting will end on the day of Lesser Bairam, when they will resume normal life. 70 days later, on the 10th day of the 12th month, it is Cobran. On occasion of the festival, at least 10,000 Moslems would pour into kashi from the neighborhood, doubling the population of the city overnight. Quite a few of them have traveled a hundred or two km. on their way. During the 3-day vacation, all walks of life will put on their many-color national costumes, gather together for service, mutton feasts, songs, dances, and enjoy themselves. The mosque on the square is so packed that you can only see people kneeling down to pray all over the place, inside and outside, and even on the stairs.
THE ENIGMATIC CONCUBINE
On the outskirts of Kashi, about three kilometres from the city, people can see the tomb of XIANG FEI (The enigmatic concubine) . Xiang Fei was, and is, still regarded with reverence by the local inhabitants. There were always people lying prostrate before her shrine, chanting scriptures and praying piously. She was born with a strange bodily fragrance. Her maiden name meant "musk deer" and later she came to be known as Xiang Fei (Fragrant Imperial Concubine) in Chinese. In the 1720s when the southern part of the Xin Jiang became a part of the Chinese empire, general Zhao Hui brought her to Beijing as captive. Emperor Qianling of the Qing court, captivated by her beauty, made her an imperial concubine. Before she died, she left word that she wished her remains to be sent back to her homeland. The Emperor was said to have complied with her wish. But textual research revealed that she was actually buried in the Eastern Mausoleum (Dong Ling) of the Qing royal family outside Beijing. People here often go to the tomb to honour her memory in meditation. The people of Xinjiang love Xiang Fei just as she had loved her homeland and people dearly.
From the Guidebooks associated with Shenzhen and Florida Splendid China:
Shenzhen Splendid China guide book Xiang Fei's Tomb
Xiang Fei's Tomb, a family mausoleum of Xiang Fei which is also called Abakh Hoja Tomb is located at the outskirt to the eastern gate of Kashi. The tomb was first built here for Xiang Fei in 1640 after her death. It was only a tomb containing Xiang Fei's personal effects without the remains. Xiang Fei was once illustrious at that time and hence the name Xiang Fei's Tomb.
Xiang Fei named Abakh Hoja was originally the wife of Huo Ji Zhan, a Moslem tribal chief in southern Xinjiang. In the 22nd year of Qianlong's reign (A.D. 1757) in Qing Dynasty, Emperor Qianlong, hearing that Abahk Hoja was born with a strange bodily fragrance, made her an imperial concubine and granted her the title of Xiang Fei (Fragrant Imperial Concubine). In order to relieve Xiang Fei from being homesick and to win her favour, Qianlong spent a large fortune and manpower to build a palace and high buildings in Uygur style. Among them, Baoyue Building where Xiang Fei was painted on its wall with landscape paintings in style and features of Xinjiang. In addition, a large bronze mirror measuring over 3 metres high and 1 metre wide was installed for her use of dressing and making up. Seething with national hatred, Xiang Fei finally died of depression. Before her death, she left word that she wished her remains to be sent back to her homeland. It revealed that Qianlong actually buried her in Yu Fei Mausoleum in Beijing but an empty tomb containing only Xiang Fei's personal effects was carried back to her homeland to be buried in her family mausoleum. This is where the existing Xiang Fei's Tomb or "hao han" or "ai zi ya di" by Uygur in the locality.
Xiang Fei's Tomb is so far the largest Moslem mausoleum in China. The towering white poplars and blossoming flowers are found everywhere in the mausoleum. Standing in the center of the mausoleum is the main hall with an area of 700 metres and over 20 metres high. Rectangular in shape with an arched roof, the walls of the main hall are inlaid with yellow, green and blue coloured glaze. Situated at the four corners are the four cylindrical pagodas. the whole hall, dazzling with brightness and radiance and displaying surpassing beauty and magnificance, is characterized with the distinctive national style and Moslem flavour. Fifty-eight Moslem dome shaped tombs are preserved in the hall whereas Xiang Fei's tomb is located at the left rear corner of the hall. the frontage of the tomb are engraved with three Chinese characters "XFM", meaning "Xiang Fei's Tomb," thus adding to this ancient mausoleum a boundless legendary and romantic colour.
Xiang Fei's Tomb in Splendid China is reproduced on the scale of 1:15. Its shape is constructed in architectural pattern exhibiting a an elegant outlook. A strong Moslem style is fully displayed by the selection of yellow, green, and blue coloured glaze inlaid on the exterior walls.
Florida Splendid China guidebook The Id Gah Mosque
Located at the northwest corner of Adier Square of Kashgar city in Xinjiang, the Id Gah Mosque started to be built in the third year of the reign of Jian Qing in Qing Dynasty (AD 1998). After renovation and expansion in the 19th year of Dao Guang's reign (A.D. 1836), the mosque became its present shape. It is the largest mosque in Xinjiang.
The structure of the mosque is in the style of quadrangle. With an area of 16,800 square metres, the rectangle building consists of the arched gateway, room for lecturing the Islamic scriptures, religious service hall, pool and so on. In the Great Hall are 140 green pillars carved with patterns of flowers, arrayed in network shape and of a great momentum. At both sides of the hall are places for imam to study and engage in advanced studies. The mosque can hold seven thousand Muslims to do religious activities at one time.
Whenever Friday, the day for Muslims to go to mosque, has come, they conscientiously come to do religious service. The most grand day is Corban which is held once a year. Putting aside the work on hand and closing all the shops, three days in succession, the worshippers gather before the great square of the mosque and hold religious service early on the day before the morning sun rises. It is a grand spectacle.
The Id Gah mosque in Splendid China is reproduced on the scale of 1:15. At both sides of the mosque gate stand two cylindrical calling towers, unique in style as well as magnificent and majestic in appearance.
New Exhibit 37 & Sign (11-23-2001)
NEW Potala Palace sign text
Built in the seventh century in Lhasa the capital of Tibet, the Potala Palace is the primary residence of the Dalai Lama. The 13-story palace with 1,000 chambers, standing atop a cliff in 3,700 meters high Lhasa, is the world's highest palace. The magnificent palace is the most sacred place for Tibetans.
Date: 641 AD
OLD Exhibit 37 & Sign
OLD Potala Palace sign text
Located in the heart of the Old Lhasa capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, the Potala Palace was built in the 7th century by King Songsten Gampo (617-665 AD) for his bride Princess Wen Cheng, sent to him by an emperor of the Tang Dynasty. The 13-story palace, standing atop a cliff in 3,700 meters high Lhasa, is the world's highest palace. The Potala Palace has 1000 chambers.
From the Tour Guides:
TIBET'S POTALA PALACE
Tibet Potala Palace, in the heart of Lhasa capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region was built in the seventh century by local lord Sougtsan Gambo (617-650) for his bride Princess Wen Cheng sent to him from the Tang dynasty court in Chang'an (today's Xi'an). The 13-story palace standing atop a cliff in 3,700 meter-high Lhasa is the world's highest palace. The original Potala had 1,000 chambers. The Buddhists believed the palace site to be "Buddha's Mountain," a sacred to them so the palace began to be called Potala, as this is pronounced in Sanskrit. The Potala Palace was reconstructed in the 7th century; there are two main parts in the structure: the Red Palace and the White Palace. The reconstruction of the Potala Palace was a grandiose project. To mix the mortar for its walls, so much earth was taken from behind the hill on which it stands that a deep depression was created. This was made into a lake and became known as Dragon King Pool after a temple built for that deity in its center. Historical records show that over 7,000 serfs worked daily on construction of the Red Palace, and still more worked at quarrying stone and felling trees in the mountains. Transportation of the tree trunks and huge blocks of stone was done by human power and many serfs died in the process. The construction scene is recorded in mural in the palace. Although the laborers brought their own food and worked without pay.
From the Guidebook associated Florida Splendid China:
Florida Splendid China guidebook-Potala Palace and Tibetans
Sitting on the crest of a peak, surrounded by yet higher mountains, Potala Palace is the holiest shrine in Tibet, and was the residence of the Dalai Lama.
Perhaps because of its proximity to heaven, Tibet is a deeply spiritual land. During the golden age of Lamaism, more than half of the Tibetan people were monks.
Lamaism, which is Tibetanized Buddhism, opposes harming any living thing. Lamaists believe that they will be reborn in a higher or lower life form, depending on the life they have lived, and that the prestigious Lamas are incarnated continuously.
Date: 641 A.D.; Scale: 1:15
Byzantium loses Near Eastern and African provinces to Moslems.