Xinjiang Yili relics stand out at Shenyang exhibit

By Liao Yuan ( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2014-04-19

A Xinjiang Yili culture exhibition got off to a flying start at Shenyang Imperial Palace, in the capital of Liaoning province, on April 15, with a number of precious historic relics on display, including a ruby-studded gold mask, ruby-studded gold wineglass, silver vase and gold braid dug from Poma Cemetery.

Deng Li, deputy director of the Xinjiang Yili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture Museum, said that Poma Cemetery, found in 1997 in Zhaosu county, is a Turkic king’s tomb that can be dated back to the Southern and Northern Dynasties (AD 420-581).

On the left side of the gold mask are 19 red gemstones, and on the left side are 20 heart-shaped ones. Every gemstone is adorned with gold beads.

The idea of the ruby-studded gold wineglass with a tiger-shaped stem, Deng explained, came from ancient Greek mythology: Dionysus, the god of grape harvests, winemaking and wine, had a pet tiger always sitting near the wineglasses when he drank with his friends, and as time went by, the tiger turned into the wineglass stem.

Deng added that the wineglasses were made by Caucasian nomads living in ancient Yili.

Bai Wenyu, head of Shenyang Imperial Palace Museum, said the exhibition can help local citizens learn about the mysterious and splendid Xinjiang culture and history, and he expects more similar cultural cooperation and exchange in the future.

Yili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture is located in northernmost Xinjiang and is the only Kazakh autonomous prefecture in China. It was once an important stop on the Ancient Silk Road’s north line.

Edited by Nelly Min