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Female characters revealed in Mogao Grottoes (Ⅰ)

Updated: 2016-04-22
By Li Xiaoxu ( chinadaily.com.cn )

Female characters revealed in Mogao Grottoes (Ⅰ)

Female musicians and dancers in the palace of heaven based on Buddhist sculptures. [Photo/Chinanews.com]

Exquisite flying Apsaras frescoes can be found in almost every cave as musicians and dancers. Flying Apsaras originate from an Indian mythical character in charge of recreation and dancing.

Other important female images are believed to be the female benefactors who funded the grottoes construction.

For example, one fresco in Mogao Grottoes shows civilian donors wearing ordinary clothes, and another fresco depicts the wife of a governor along with other women from noble families worshiping Buddha.

The murals about noble women demonstrate the confidence and modesty of women in Tang Dynasty, according to some scholars.

The exhibited frescoes also included images of female Bodhisattvas in different periods of the Tang Dynasty. Although there are both male and female Bodhisattvas in Buddhism, the Bodhisattvas in Tang Dynasty's artworks in Mogao Grottoes mainly show the tenderness and elegance of women.

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