Hetian 和田

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Hotian

Hotian was previously known in Chinese as Yutian, an oasis locates 1500km far from Xinjiang in the south by the edge of Taklimakan Dessert (the second largest dessert in the world).

Hotian is the capital of Hotan Prefecture covering an area of 489square kilometers, populated exclusively by Uyghurs. Also it is one of the important stop on the Silk Road. As a minor agriculture center, but it is famous overseas for its three specialties: high quality of Hetian jade (nephrite), the carpets and the silk.

Nephrite JadeHetian is famous for its high-quality nephrite jade which has a variety of colurs. Chinese historical recordes indicate that Hetian was the main source of the nephrite jade used in ancient China for hundreds of years, until they were defeated in 176 BCE by the Xiongnu, the hetian jade into China was controlled by the nomadic Yuezhi. Most of the jade is now gone, with only a few kilos of good quality jade found yearly, which makes the jade more valuable.

Fabrics and carpetsHetianese carpets, were mentioned by Xuanzang, who visited the oasis in 644 CE: "The country produces woolen carpets and fine felt, and the people are skillful in spinning and weaving silk." In his Biography it is writtend: "It produced carpets and fine felt, and the felt-makers also spun coarse and fine silk." Not only pile carpets were produced in ancient times, but also kilims.

 

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