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Male and female polo players

Male and female polo players

Tang Dynasty (618-907)
Shaanxi or Henan (?)
“Three colours” ceramic (sancai)
H : 34.2 cm L : 34.4 cm W : 13.6 cm
M.C. 5793

Polo was developed centuries ago in Central Asia, perhaps in the ancient Khotan kingdom, southwest of the Tarim Basin. We do not know exactly when it was introduced in China, but during the Tang Era, polo was a sport widespread among the aristocracy.

Many minqi representing male and female polo players are often found in tombs from the Tang Era. There are several different types of these figures, the most common depicts a horse in a “flying gallop”.

The Cernuschi Museum’s horseback pair represents a less common model. The woman is dressed in a man’s costume, in order to be more comfortable while riding, as is still the custom today in Central Asia.

Auteur de la notice : Gilles Béguin
Collection : Tang Dynasty (618-907)
Mode d'acquisition : Donation of Zang Renjie ( 1877−1950), 1914.
  • Joueur et joueuse de polo

Joueur et joueuse de polo
© Musée Cernuschi