Wednesday, 5 June 2013


We have visited two sets of caves in the last few days. The first was at Dun Huang where we visited Cave 17 where the secret library was found. Some tens of thousands of Buddhist scriptures dating back over 1000 years were walled up when danger threatened and only rediscovered in the early 1900s. Unfortunately they were immediately loaded onto camels and transported to the British Museum, Berlin Museum and other such places. The Chinese have only a small percentage of the total and only fragments at all. The dregs in short. A fact they are not too pleased about. They are even more enraged about the removal of the frescos which were removed to Berlin and then totally destroyed by bombing in World War II. There are hundreds of caves, all decorated with paint and statues. We had an excellent conducted tour of about 10 caves.

The paintings that are left are in good condition. Some of the sculptures have been rebuilt. They are just mud and straw.

After a train journey from Dun Huang to Chinese Tibet, we set off into the mountains for a fabulous visit to more caves - the Bingling Caves. These ones are very remote and there were hardly any other people there. We got to it by boat. In this case, it is mostly sculpture carved from the rock.

A long journey back to Xiahe where we are visiting a big monastery today. This is quite different country. Apart from the mountains and pine trees, there are monks everywhere and it is very cold! I am wearing my ski underwear and a sweater today. And it will be woolly hat and gloves when we go out.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Blog Archive

About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.