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The Imitation Terracotta Warriors

    Tourist Souvenirs Being one of the cradles of ancient Chinese civilization, Shaanxi is also rich in folk art products and handicrafts. These folk art products bear a strong local flavour and have a long history. The shapes, materials, patterns and techniques of some of the products date as far back as several hundred, or even several thousand years ago. For instance, the earliest Chinese embroidery articles made in the Western Zhou dynasty were unearthed in this province. According to historical materials, Shaanxi was the place where the famous ancient Chinese lacquer was produced. The woven fabrics of the Han dynasty, the embroidery of the Tang.

   dynasty and the famous Yao Zhou porcelain from the Northern Song dynasty are all the traditional products of which Shaanxi is proud. Nowadays, owing to the efforts of artistic workers and craftsmen, the handicrafts of Shaanxi have proved more refined and elegant, for example, the reproduction of tri-coloured glazed pottery of the Tang dynasty, Yao Zhou porcelain, the imitation of the Qin terra-cotta figures, the folk paper-cut, appliqué, puppets, leather shadows as well as the Qin embroidery produced on the basis of old tradition, all these reflect the continuation and development of the long tradition. 

   the reproduction of tri-coloured glazed pottery of the Tang dynasty, Yao Zhou porcelain, the imitation of the Qin terra-cotta figures, the folk paper-cut, appliqué, puppets, leather shadows as well as the Qin embroidery produced on the basis of old tradition, all these reflect the continuation and development of the long tradition. The Imitation of the Qin Terra-cotta Figures Xi'an is a world-famous city for her ancient culture. It abounds with historical sites and cultural relics, among which the terra-cotta figures of the Qin dynasty are considered to be the.


outstanding ones. The eight-thousand life-size terra-cotta warriors and horses arranged in majestic-looking battle array, vividly reproduce the great daring of Qin Shihuang when he unified China. These terra-cotta figures reached a surprisingly high level in craftsmanship and sculpture, and are now hailed as “the eighth wonder of the world”. It attracts tens of thousands of tourists both at home and abroad to come here just to feast their eyes on the magnificent sight. Making use of the advantageous factor, the artists and craftsmen of Xi’an have made excellent imitation figures of all sizes, which possess many good points such as their vivid shape and portability, and are really fine souvenirs and presents for kith and kin.

Take a Terracotta Warrior home with you! Many different types of replicas are available as souvenirs, from a few inches tall to life--size! Prices range as well, from one US dollar to several thousand dollars for the largest statues.

The price of the life-sized statues usually includes shipping to the US or Europe. But buyer beware! The life-sized statues cost a fraction of the price to make, usually less than 400 US dollars.

If you take an organized tour to the Terracotta Army site, your tour will probably stop by one of Xi'an's "Terracotta Warrior" factories. You can purchase one there or try the Xi'an Friendship Store.

Different people usually have very different understandings and feelings after watching the wonder. Politicians may think of the emperor’s great achievement of uniting the country; Strategists are amazed by the lineup of the soldiers; Historians find inspirations for their researches; Philosophers and litterateurs observe the lightness of being and gravity of people’s life.

How to make:
  At the first sight, you may think all the pottery works are from the same model, but as a matter of fact, each and every warrior is characterized by its own characters. According to different ranks and armed services, the uniform, cap, facial features, beard, hair, and buckle also vary. Taking a closer look at the warriors, you can find all kinds of real people more than 2,000 years ago C be it beautiful, ugly, fat, slim, young or old.

  The making of the bronze chariot was also a wonder. One chariot usually consists of more than 3,000 components, and it's extremely hard to assemble all the parts together. Besides, the circular covering of the chariot is about two square meters, but only two to four millimeters thick. In order to produce it, the control of the temperature has to be very precise, and so does the portion of alloy. How people managed to produce that is still unknown today.

  There are also some problems about the producing of life-size terra cotta warriors. Today's process is to first fire different sections, and then glue them together, but the original warriors were all made as a whole. There are several technical problems for that. How to make sure the terra cotta does not break when it turns from wet earth mold to pottery The thickness of a terra cotta varies in different parts of the body, how did people control the temperature of the heat, How did people manage the proportion of some ingredients like quartz in the earth  Answers to these questions are still left for you to give.

   Looking at faces of warriors, you can read all kinds of facial expressions: happy, angry, sad, proud, foxy, or humorous. People’s internal worlds are delicately expressed. Among the soldiers, it's obvious that there are also a number of ethnic groups.

  If you compare terra cotta warriors with ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, you may find its artistic achievements not as impressive, but no one can match the scale and the layout of terra cotta warriors. Altogether, there are more than 8,000 terra cotta objects unearthed, and sheer large number contributes greatly to the magnificence and awe.

  After years of display since they were excavated, the Qin Terrracotta Warriors and Horses become even more popular today. Their imitations are not only accepted as souvenirs and gifts by both Chinese and foreigh tourists, but also accepted by enterprises and public organizations as decorations that can promote their reputation and better demonstrate their artistic tastes. There are probably three reasons for their popularity: first, the imitaions are made strictly after the model of the real ones. And they resemble the real ones in almost every detail such as the postures, the hair style, the clothing and the facial features. In order to promote the artistic taste of the imitations, some experts were hired to examine and revise them so that the original artistic beauty can be sufficiently conveyed. Secondly, imitations are made of all sizes to meet the needs of different tourists.

  The ones of original sizw are suitable for display in art galleries, history museums, art exhibition halls and big hotel. Half-sized or one--quarter-sized ones are suitable for decoration of family or guest receiveing places. While the mini-sized ones are good portable gifts for both friends and relatives.

  Tourists of all nationalities can never fail to find the imitations of the right size they want. Besides. The imitations are made in a wide varity. There are general figures, soldier figures and the like; there are standing soldiers and kneeling soldiers atc. Besides soldiers, there are also horse figures. With the process of excavationand revision, a lot of imitation of new kinds will be available for tourists' choice.

Travel Tips
If you are interested in how Terracotta Warriors were made in the first place, you can discover it in the Xian Art Ceramics Factory. It is a good place to learn and have fun. You can actually join the work flow to make one by your own by following the original technique and process.
Shaanxi Provincial History Museum, one of the best history museums in China with more than 370,000 exhibits of different times and kinds, is the best place in Xian for ancient artifacts, including Tang Sancai.

Native arts and handicrafts In  Xi'an             More

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Mashao masks

The Chinese Traditional Art of Lacquer 

Xi'an Shopping

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