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0262 Ancient Khotan : vol.1
Ancient Khotan : vol.1 / Page 262 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000182
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Terra-cotta   Of the heads worked in the round (B. ooi. f, g, h, i ; Y. 0012), it may also be supposed

heads and

masks.   that they served the purpose of vase decoration, though it is not easy to determine the exact

position they occupied.. Of special interest is the large female head (Y. 003 i) which clearly suggests modelling after a well-defined local type, recognizable also in some small worshipping figures of the Dandân-Uiliq frescoes (see Plates III, IV). The very oblique eyes are in curious contrast to the thoroughly ` Aryan' look of the other well-shaped features. The arrangement of the hair and the elaborate ornaments manifestly reproduce local fashion of the period 2. The fragmentary mask (B. o01. a), shows an entirely different type of head. With its large and strongly aquiline nose, its eyes near together and but slightly oblique, it recalls some marked features in the fine Gandhâra relief in the Lahore Museum known as an ` Indo-Scythian king'. Though this sculpture in reality is intended to represent Kubera, the guardian of the northern region, the ` Scythian ' type of its portrait-like head is unmistakable s. Of the grotesque animal figures represented by Y. oog. a, b, Dr. Hoernle has already shown that they served as decorative handles of vases 4.

Terra-cotta   Plates XLVI and XLVII illustrate a class of Yôtkan antiques largely represented in former

figurines.   collections, that of terra-cotta figurines. The subjects are chiefly figures of animals shown in

the round, among which monkeys largely predominate. The variety of treatment shown by these miniature representations is very remarkable ; but whether the monkey figures are treated in careful naturalistic fashion or but roughly modelled, interest is imparted to them by the clever way in which human expression is given to their faces, or human gestures and poses humorously indicated. We see them most frequently playing on musical instruments, as if to mark the weakness prevailing among the Khotan people, ancient and modern, for such entertainment. Among the instruments we find the sitar (Y. oo i i . b, d, i), a kind of raôi ö not unlike the one of which a portion was excavated by me at the Niya Site (Y. ooi i. k), more often the syrinx or Pan's pipe (Y.00i I. c, e, f, j ; Y. 0013. e), and various kinds of drum (Y. 0012. n, Kh. 003. m). To the special interest possessed by the occurrence of the syrinx, which seems quite foreign to Indian art, attention has already been called by Dr. Hoernle b. We see monkeys sitting in meditation, praying, laughing, or feasting (Y. 0014. b, B. ooi. 1, Y. 001 I. g, Y. 0014. a, B. 002). But far more common are ithyphallic representations (Y. oog. i, q, Y. 0012. a. iii, Y. 0013. c, Y. 0025) or else groups in amorous embrace (Y. 0012. a. i, a. ii, z, y, Y. 009. r). The relatively large proportion of such poses and scenes curiously reflects the reputation for sensuality enjoyed by the Khotan population since ancient times 6.

Terra-cotta   The skill with which the character of the monkey is expressed in most of these figurines,

grotesque down to such details as the direction of hair growth (Y. 0012. d) or the shape of the skull monkeys.

(Y. 0013. b, B. 002), is all the more curious since the monkey can never in historical times

have been found in a free state or otherwise been common in Khotan. In the figures of camels or horses (Y. 0012. p, t, Y. 0013. d, Y. oog. 1, B. ooi. j, Y. 009, c, 1) we find, on the other hand, a far more conventional style of work. We have a human subject in the infant in swaddling clothes (Y. 0012. c), and various miniatures of household vessels in Y. 002. b. i, Y. 0012, W, X.

2 The male head reproduced in Plate XI. r, of Dr. Hoernle's Report, part ii, which may have formed the neck of a large vessel, is a curious pendant; for the similar treatment of the hair in both heads compare the bifrons vessel, Y. 0030, Plate XLIII.

s See for this interesting sculpture Grtinwedel-Burgess,

Buddhist art, p. 137, fig. 88 ; also above, p. 158.

4 See Report on C.-A. antiquities, ii. p. 40 ; also


6 See Report on C.A. antiquities, ii. p. 49.

6 See above, pp. 139, 142.