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11:56 Jan 17 2011

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China cultural news in brief:Tibetan epic king Gesar staged in mandarin
11:55, January 17, 2011  

The following are highlights of China's cultural and archeological news reported Sunday.

TIBETAN EPIC KING GESAR STAGED IN MANDARIN

A Tibetan song and dance drama based on the world's longest epic poem, King Gesar, is being staged in Chengdu, capital of southwest China's Sichuan Province, for five days from Jan. 14 to 18.

It is the first time ever for the King Gesar story to appear on the stage in Mandarin Chinese.

"King Gesar" is a ballad that tells how the half-human, half-god Tibetan king of the 11th Century conquered the devils of other tribes and sought to help ordinary people.

The 1,000-year-old epic of King Gesar, with more than 120 episodes, is considered the crowning masterpiece of Tibetan folk literature.

ANIMAL TUSKS UNEARTHED IN ANCIENT TOMB

Archeologists in northwest China's Shaanxi Province have found two tusks of an unknown animal among offerings recently unearthed from a pair of tombs that are believed to be nearly 2,000 years old.

The finding was reported Sunday at a construction site in Ankang City, the local government said.

Most of the offerings inside the tomb chambers had been stolen when archeologists unearthed the tombs to make way for the construction project. Besides the tusks, the remaining offerings included about 200 copper coins and some kitchen utensils.

Tusks were unearthed from an ancient tomb in the same city in the early 1980s.

FOLK ARTIST MAKES MASTERPIECE OUT OF BAMBOO SLIPS

A folk artist in east China's Jiangxi Province is making a famous Chinese painting out of bamboo slips.

Xu Jianyuan, 44, said the 23-meter long, 1.1-meter wide "Riverside Scene at the Qingming Festival" would be completed by the end of 2012.

Xu's work began in August, when he selected 40 bamboos and spent about a month cutting them into 10,000 slips.

Xu's hometown, Linchuan District in Fuzhou City, is known for more than 200 years as a cradle of bamboo artwork, paintings and calligraphy. Xu became an artist at 16.

The Riverside Scene at the Qingming Festival, however, is by far the most complicated piece Xu has taken.

The original masterpiece was drawn by Zhang Zeduan of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and has more than 800 people in it.

CHINA LAUNCHES PUBLICATIONS TO PROMOTE MAJOR TIBETAN MONASTERY

A set of books, pictorials and digital video discs on the history and culture of Labrang Monastery, center of the Yellow Sect of Tibetan Buddhism in northwest China's Gansu Province, were launched Sunday in the provincial capital Lanzhou.

The publication series focused on the Labrang Monastery, Tibetan Buddhism and folk culture, biographies of high monks, and tourists' perspectives on Labrang, including texts and photos taken by foreign backpackers and Chinese scholars between 1895 and 1949, which the editors found in libraries at Harvard University and in Russia.

Source: Xinhua

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