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毛猴 Hairy Monkey

estella  11-08-29 09:12

Language:中文 pin yin English

What are the animals in the picture?
They look like monkeys, don’t they? In fact they are not real monkeys but is a kind of traditional folk artifact of old Beijing called hairy monkeys.
Hairy monkey is a combination of treasures, for it is made of several traditional Chinese medicines. Its legs and arms are made of limbs of cicada slough, its body made of lily magnolia, and its head of the head of the cicada slough. Sometimes, the hairy monkey will have a hat on, just like that shown in the picture above. The hat is also a kind of traditional Chinese medicine called akebia stem. What links all the parts of a hairy monkey together is also another kind of traditional Chinese medicine called bletilla. You might ask why the hairy monkey has so much to do with traditional Chinese medicine. The following story will probably help you to understand the reason.


Back in the Qing Dynasty, a drug store apprentice was always scolded by his boss. He had to bear the insult for fear of losing the job. One night, he was rebuked again by the boss and felt quite upset, so he started to meddle with the medicinal materials in the store. All of a sudden, he found the cicada slough look very special and resembled a human being. He made the body of the man with the lily magnolia and his head and limbs with the cicada slough. Then he stuck them together with bletilla. After he finished, the thing looked like neither a man nor a monkey. Observed closer, it resembled his boss very much. The apprentice burst into laughter and felt his grievance was redressed. Afterwards, the skill spread to the society and hairy monkey gradually became a popular artifact.
        后来,人们制作的毛猴形象越来越丰富,主要是让它模拟人的活动。通过各种动作,表现古时人们生活的状态和民俗文化。看看下面 的毛猴工艺品,你能猜出它们在干什么呢?
With the passing of time, diversified actions of hairy monkeys have been created to imitate human activities. People’s life and folk customs in ancient times are reflected through these little monkeys. Have a look at the following picture. Can you guess what they are doing?


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Edit on11-08-29 09:12

11-09-22 11:05
interesting stuff!

11-09-25 22:09