Lost Oasis on the Silk Road, Parts 7-9

Lost-Oasis-08

This is the last three sections of a nine-part series of documentaries on the Silk Road kingdom of Kucha. Click on the links for parts 1-3 and 4-6.

In part seven we see the great destruction of the caves that was wrought by some of the European expeditions in the early part of the 20th century.

Not only did they cut out many of the murals to be taken back to Europe, but in the attempt they destroyed a number of others, which they left behind.

As they didn’t keep records as to where the murals had been taken from, it is almost impossible now to reconstruct what a lot of the caves must have looked like.

Besides these disasters, more than 40% of the murals that were taken back to Germany were destroyed during the bombing of Berlin during World War II.

In part eight the film traces the music and dance of the kingdom, which, according to Xuan Zang (7th century), was the finest in the world at the time.

Besides the poses that dancers have on the murals, which can be compared with modern day dances, musical scores were also discovered in Dunhaung, which was the centre of another Silk Road kingdom nearby.

The score is there, but there is disagreement on the tuning of the instruments, which was not specified. Still this film gives a fascinating glimpse into the musical history of the country.

The final episode in the series traces the decline of the kingdom of Kucha, owing to continuing wars between the Han and the Hun, and the Han and the Turks.

Eventually because of the wars peoples from central Mongolia were forced to leave behind their homelands, and they came to the Kucha area, and mixing with the local population, became the ancestors of the modern Uighur population.

 

Part Seven:

I am unable to embed the film here, but follow this link for the video:

Watch on CCTV

Part Eight:

Watch on CCTV

Part Nine:

Watch on CCTV

 

Lost Oasis

 

Lost Oasis

 

Lost Oasis

 

Lost Oasis

 

Lost Oasis

 

Lost Oasis

 

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