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Drawings of animal-drawn carts

Inner Mongolia News  2008-10-16 17:02


Animal-drawn carts used to be the major means of transportation in mountainous areas, though it is rather difficult to draw the figures of them by chiseling on rocks. The numerous carts depicted in the rock paintingsof Yinshan Mountains, therefore, can be regarded as one of their distinguishing characteristics.

Figures of carts have frequently been found in Agui Valley, Dengkou County, Bayannur League of Inner Mongolia. The stone beacon tower built in Qin or Han Dynasty by the mouth of the valley indicates that the valley used to be the only passage for going into and out of the mountainous region and crossing the Yinshan Mountains. A roughly depicted cartwheel with thirteen unevenly arranged spokes of various thicknesses was found in the sixteenth group of rock paintings at No. 5 Painting Site in Agui Valley. The cartwheel in fact, represents a cart. In another painting, a horse-like animal was carved in front of the cart, constituting a picture of horse-drawn cart. By the foot of the Langshan Mount, the painting of carts with awning was found on the cliff of the eastern side of the mountain. Three              two-wheeled carts are drawn in the painting, each with longshafts that extend beyond the rear of the cart. The awning was strutted by wooden sticks on the cart. All the three carts in the painting were unharnessed with the animals standingby. Judging from the outline,we may infer that the carts in the painting were mobile vehicles that carried people around in their nomadic life.

Riderson the backs of horses, camels and oxen were depicted in the rock paintings. Drawings of herding, hunting or even dancing on horsebacks can also be found. The simplest symbol of a rider is a thick line with neither head nor limbs drawn vertically onthe back of an animal. Riders with heads and limbs, or even with clothes and harness,can only be seen in the more complicatedpaintings. A painting discovered in Tongku Valley of Dengkou County depicts a group ofriders slowly marching forward on horsebacks and camelbacks. Some of the riders are even giving acrobatic performance on horsebacks. The picture seems to be a record of a migration on a considerably large scale.

Close ]   source: Inner Mongolia News   editor: 于海娟
 
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