Friday, July 22, 2011

Staycation 2011, Entry Three

Today's staycation visit was the Ghengis Khan exhibit at the Irving Arts Center.  At this statue in the lobby, the girls are showing just how scary Ghengis Khan was, though once inside the exhibit we learned there was a bit more to him than just evil barbarian (though there was plenty of that, too!). Did you know he created a code of laws?  One was translated as "love your neighbor as you love yourself."  Really?!  That was next to the exhibit about the seige of a walled Chinese city where he used captured Chinese on the front lines and used a catapult to send diseased animals over the wall to infect people in the city.  How neighborly. . . .

We learned that the Mongolians invented passports, diplomatic immunity, ground meat, eyeglasses and pants.  Bless the Mongolians for pants!  The girls loved every mention of China, even when it involved invasion and destruction.  I hadn't realized that the Mongol Empire had extended all the way through China as far south as Hong Kong  (I thought it was limited to the north.) 

The exhibit included the mummified remains of a Mongolian noblewoman who died over 800 years ago, which the girls found fascinating and not gross. What I liked was that the exhibit had to be kept at a lovely 60 degrees to preserve the mummy -- first time this month of 21 consecutive 100+-degree days I've felt comfortable!  They actually handed out blankets to the crowd at the exhibit -- sheesh!

No photos allowed in the exhibit, so I compensated by taking tons in the gift shop, including the kids' activity area where the girls dug in the sand for archeological finds and made paper Mongolian-style hats.

I took a picture of a poster showing a Buddhist dance-drama with a masked figure -- we got to see the actual mask in the exhibit.

I think the most fun in the gift shop, though, came when we all tried on Mongolian-made hats, some old-style, some new, and some just plain silly!

Umm, in case you're wondering, I didn't buy the hat!


Mahmee said...

Nice hats! Love that Genghis Khan photo.

Kristen said...

Looks like you had some fun. Thanks for posting.. My daughter is from Inner Mongolia.. it's a fun place to visit! Lots of history!