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0155 Serindia : vol.1
Serindia : vol.1 / Page 155 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000183
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at once on comparing it with the conventionalized heads, which the hieratic sculpture of Khotan has borrowed from Graeco-Buddhist art.

In the case of the female heads, too, it is easy to distinguish the local type, represented by the extensive series Yo. 009. d—f, h, oo4i. a—e (see Plate I), from that of the appliqué heads, probably belonging to Gandharvis and similar divine figures (Yo. oo26, 0067, 00182 ; see Plate III), which is obviously derived from Gandhâra. A very curious feature is the great variety and elaborate nature of the coiffures represented. Interesting additional details about fashion in dress are furnished by the few complete figurines of women (Yo. 1, 2, Plate II ; Yo. 0073, Plate I). That such figurines could serve also as vessels, perhaps for unguents, is shown by Yo. 1, oo56.

But human figures are rare as compared with the great mass of terra-cotta figurines representing animals. Among these again monkeys largely predominate. The very clever way in which these figures are modelled, however miniature in size, and the artistic skill with which human poses and expressions are given to them, have often been noted in connexion with former collections. The treatment of the heads varies from a careful naturalism to a rough but effective grotesque, as the few selections from the series Yo. 003-7,0035,0051,0052, etc., represented in Plate III (also Yo. 009. g, 0043. e, in Plate I) will show. The humour of the Khotanese public was manifestly pleased to see its prominent failings caricatured under the guise of these monkey figurines ; for this clearly is the explanation of the manifold representations of monkeys playing on musical instruments and for the still more numerous ithyphallic figures and pairs in amorous embrace (Yo. 003. o, 0031. a, 0034. d, 002. a—n, 0048. a—f, oo5o, etc., Plate III).4

Among the musical instruments the guitar is most frequent, being evidently a favourite like its modern descendant, the rabâb (Yo. ox. b, oo3. 1, m, 0032. a, d, 0047. a, b, oo62 ; Plate III, etc.). Besides it we find the syrinx (Yo. 003. c, d, 0032. b) and drum (Yo. oo3. e, 0032. c) and also the harp, this last in the hands of a human appliqué figure (Yo. oo66 ; Plate III). Flute and cymbal appear in addition on the terra-cotta relief Yo. 02 (Plate I). Human fondness for children is revealed in the frequent figurines which show monkey babies in cradles or held in the arms (Yo. ooio. a, 0028. c, 0038. a—d, oo63 ; Plates I, III). A particularly curious group is Yo. 0070 (Plate I) where a female monkey with baby and bird in her arms is carried Anchises fashion on the shoulders by her monkey mate. Here we may mention also the interesting proof which monkey figurines furnish for the early use at Khotan of inflated skins as means for crossing rivers.a Yo. 003 z. d, e (Plate III) show monkeys in the act of floating on skins, while in Yo. 003. q, a monkey appears kneeling with a skin on his back ready for use. Such skins are represented also separately in miniature terra-cotta (Yo. ooJ3 ; Khot. 0014).

Among other animal figures the camel is most frequent (e. g. Yo. oo8. c, oI z. c—e, 0029 ; Plates II, III). In Yo. 0049. a, b (Plate III) it appears loaded, in the latter specimen with what look like skins full of water. Horse and rider are seen in Yo. 0015. b, e, 0030. a, 0045. a (Plate I). In addition we have the peacock (Yo. 0030. c, oo6i ; Plate II), yak (Yo. 0071) and boar, the latter shown with naturalistic skill in Yo. o064 (Plate III).

Whereas in the case of pottery and terra-cotta objects local origin may safely be assumed, no such assurance can be felt as regards other small antiques in stone, metal, and glass which are

Monkey figurines.

Musical instruments of figurines.

Figurines of animals.

Small carvings in stone.

4 As regards the love of music and dancing in ancient and modern Khotan, cf. Ancient Kholan, i. pp. 139, 141 ; for the proverbial reputation enjoyed by Khotan for licentiousness in old and modern times, see ibid., pp. 139, 142.

6 I have not come across the indigenous use of skins (I. e. the Indian ' Mussuck') in modern Chinese Turkestan.

But it is well known on the rivers of Western Turkestan and since ancient times in Iran, Mesopotamia, etc. ; cf. Dr. R. Trebitsch's monograph on the history and geographical distribution of the use of inflated skins in Archiv fur Anthropologie, 1912, xi. pp. 175 sqq.

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