Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Ancient Chinese Jades And Bronzes

How do you describe, in Mandarin, this two thousand year old piece of Chinese bronze? This was the happy (and challenging!) task that the four of us were confronted with the other day at the Freer and Sackler Galleries down on the National Mall. For one hour, our excellent new Chinese teacher, 何老师, led us on a tour of artifacts of some of China's earliest dynasties.

The first step in the translation process had nothing to do with language whatsoever. Before we could even begin contemplating explanations in Chinese, we had to figure out just what each of the artifacts were actually used for in their day.

Any ideas on this one, gang?

~Steve

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