The Khitan of the Liao period (907-1125) was the first of the conquering dynasties (Liao, Jin, Yuan). It is characterised by a particular funerary costume that was reserved for its elite.

On the fall of the Tang, northern China was divided between three Sinicised “Barbarian” states: Liao (907-1125), Xixia (990-1227) and Jin (1115-1234). Each kept much of its native culture while borrowing certain aspects of Chinese civilisation to suit its needs. The Liao Khitans developed an original funerary art, characterised by sumptuous adornments including masks covering the face of the deceased.