Khan ruled China in the 13th century. He adapted Chinese traditions and made Buddhism
the state religion. It is note worthy that in the period preceding this carving,
Mongolian tradition preferred cremation for the dead. Since such ritual often
done in secrecy, as a result, few Mongolian tombs have been found in China to
this day. This wood sculpture of a Mongolian warrior, likely an effigy consecrated
with a ritual blessing. Evidently there is a certain ritual offering embedded
in the hallowed space in the statue, to which a large wood plug is secured to
keep this substance in place.
bulky Mongol figure is stylistically belongs to the Ming Eras (1368-1644). Though
time has diminished much of its former glory; his warrior class is clearly indicated
in the clenching fist of his right hand, and the threatening mudra of his left.
There are burn marks
and extensive gilt loss in the back. The lacquered and painted front is largely
intact. This is a rare
shrine statue which documented the Mongolian's assimilation in the Chinese culture.