The Silk Road

The Silk Road - Episode 7

50 minutes 7.30/10 based on 27 votes

Khotan-Oasis of Silk and Jade

A camel caravan brings big chunks of jade down from the Kun-Lun Mountains south of the Taklamakan Desert. Comments on religious significance of jade in China; picture of spectacular suit of jade armor from a tomb. People searching for jade in a river; then the jade market in town. The silk industry–weaving and spinning. The famous tale of the “Silk Princess” who smuggled silkworms out of China and is depicted in one of paintings discovered by the archaeologist Aurel Stein. Expedition searches for that site in the desert (Dandan Oilik) but fails to locate it.

Scenes of typical Uighur market day in Khotan, but Japanese film crew play the foolish tourists. A silk dance, with the female dancers carrying plates of cocoons. Visit to the local ice house in the heat of mid-summer. Some rather silly dialogue (When did you get the ice? In January? Oh, you mean in winter!) and a remarkable assertion that Uighurs have little furniture in their houses today because once (hundreds of years ago!) they were nomads. Other somewhat demeaning comments on Uighurs. Mosque scene with some 5000 worshippers on Friday–China as a bastion of freedom of religion today. A little about history of Khotan as a Buddhist center before the arrival of Islam in tenth century. Visits there by Xuanzang, the 7th century pilgrim, and by Marco Polo in the thirteenth century.


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7.30/10 (27 votes)
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Discuss This Documentary

3 responses to “The Silk Road”

  1. zarko says:

    WOW!! this documentaru i watched when i was a child with macedonian translation on (then) state TV. ITS GREAT!! maiby it will look old now but the documnetrau worthe every minute of your time!! RECOMEND

  2. Jim says:

    This is quite wonderful. I can remember watching as a young man in Scotland and being spellbound. It has lost none of its magic. A masterpiece.

  3. wmac says:

    I also watched it as a kid. Kitaro’s silk road music still brings me to dreams…. I loved the series then…

    This series used to be played in Iran (with Persian translation)…

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