Travels through China part 2
After about 45 minutes of testing and shopping at the Dunhuang musical instrument showroom I had many boxes of flutes to stuff my already bulging suitcases. My attitude towards collecting flutes is like Carrie’s attitude from ‘Sex in The City’ towards buying shoes. We bid farewell to the factory staff and went to our next stop which was lunch at a picturesque town called Qibao meaning ‘Seven Treasures’ in Chinese. It is an ancient town established in the year 960 with water canals and winding streets. We feasted on local specialties in a noisy restaurant and strolled through the busy streets.
The Minheng District Museum claims the artefacts predate the Qing Dynasty (1616 – 1911). The instruments are displayed in simple glass cases with descriptions in Chinese only. In this display you can see a series of end blown flutes. The ones on the top row and on the bottom right are notched flutes similar to the Japanese shakuhachi. The others on the lower right are similar to the Ney or modern day Xiao. The flutes in the front are an ancient set of panpipes and the stand to the left appear to be made of animal bone. (to be continued)