and translated by Iva Huang
shrouds were regarded as the most noble funeral coverings
for people in Han Dynasty. People were obsessed with
the belief that jade could preserve corpses, and so
jade shrouds were invaluable items for the elite.
and aristocrats were buried in this kind of semi-precious
clothing, which was also described as Yu Xia (Jade
Casket). Each shroud was composed of many jade plates;
each plate had a hole in each of the four corners
through which threads made of gold, silver or copper
could go though. By sewing together the plates with
those threads, craftsmen would make the Gold-Lined
Jade Shroud, the Silver-Lined Jade Shroud, and the
Copper-Lined Jade Shroud.
to HouHanShu, the classic historical record of the
post-Han period, tradition divided jade shrouds for
royalty into three categories:
Gold-Lined Jade Shroud was for emperors.
Silver-Lined Jade Shroud was for vassals, the privileged,
Copper-Lined Jade Shroud was for late emperors' concubines
and sisters of the incumbent ruler.
shrouds usually had two parts: the head and the vestment.
The head part consists of the mask and the hood. Eye
sockets, a nose, and a mouth are carved out of the
mask. The components are all small rectangle jade
panels. Eyes and mouths come out of bigger jade panels
while noses are formed by thin layers of tile-shaped
jade. The image closely resembles real people.
vestment contains the front, the rear, and the sleeves.
Each part is separate. The pants have left and right
leg-huggers. Hands are closed in fists, holding a
semi-circular jade ornament in each symbolizing holding
onto wealth. The feet are crafted to look like they
already have shoes on.
exhibition is located at the China Jadeware Museum
within Macrocosm Merryland. It's long been a hot spot
for school field trips. Moreover, many foreign visitors
have been astonished by the rich storage of jade artifacts
and the unrivaled stockpile of precious stones, animal
and plant fossils, and ores.
1-2, JiaWan, KangLe Village, SinChern Town, Hualien
* TEL: (03) 826-8688
* Open 7 days a week
* NT$530 for anyone above 15 years old; NT$490 for
14-year-olds and younger, physically challenged, and
those older than 64 years old; NT$450 for elementary
school kids and younger as well as Hualien residents
* Admission Fee: Adults NT$380; students and children