Tag Archives: the silk trade

SILK

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SILK

This is a very informative post of the history of silk in China, from ancient myths about the origin of silk, the medieval international trade in silk, via The Silk Road, and some thoughts about modern tourism in China. Debbie has written several posts on the theme of Silk. See also my post “Luscious Silks“.

spaceship china

China has an exceptionally long history. It is one of the few civilizations on Earth that has a continuous culture, an ancient past, a vibrant present, and a certain future.

None of the cultural attributes, industries or thoughts of China epitomize that long history better than  SILK.

Silk from Beijing 

Silk culture – known a sericulture – began in China many centuries back. 嫘祖, Lei Zu or Ancestor Lei, whose name was 西陵氏, Xi Lingshi, was an Empress.Not just any Empress, mind you, her husband was the Yellow Emperor, China’s legendary ancestor-hero.

IMG_1704 Yellow Emperor carved in stone, at entrance to park along the Yellow River

One day, the young empress (she was only 14 years old at the time) was drinking tea under a mulberry tree. A cocooned silkworm fell into her cup of tea, and a long silken thread emerged from the coccon. SILK was born.

silk from a…

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