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A woman of history

Xi'an tour guide informs and entertains her audience as she brings the city's fascinating and intriguing past to life, Yang Feiyue reports.

By Yang Feiyue | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-10 09:20
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The rising recognition of Wang's tours has led to her being invited to promote tourism in Yichang city, Hubei province.[Photo provided to China Daily]

A squatting terracotta warrior down on one knee becomes a trove of knowledge as a result of Wang Yu's thought-provoking explanation.

"It's a top treasure at the Emperor Qinshihuang's Mausoleum Site Museum, and called a star of fortune," says the tour guide from Xi'an, Shaanxi province.

Then, anticipating curious tourists' questions, the young woman in her 20s goes on to explain how it survived the test of time, whereas countless counterparts were turned into fragments.

"The kneeling position made it 1.2 meters, lower than many higher statues that might shield it from earthquakes and land collapse," Wang explains.

She then asked her audience to focus on the facial features of the warrior.

"The broad forehead, high cheekbones, low nasal bridge and monolid eyes are typical of people in the Guanzhong area (mainly Shaanxi)," she notes.

"See the fine lines around the Terracotta Warriors' eyes and on the palms and bottom of their feet, they convey the craftsmanship of ancient times," she adds.

As she responds to a string of intriguing questions, like how the pottery figurines were made and restored from fragments of debris, she states that the restoration process is "an inheritance of the spirit and a symbolism of cultural confidence", which often stirs up a wave of appreciative applause from her audience.

Wang doesn't even miss small details in the armor structure, such as how the difference of the overlapping plate arrangement in the upper and lower parts of the armor allowed for more flexible movement.

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