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  • Chinese archery


    Zhang Xian shooting a pebble bow at the tiangou, who is causing an eclipse. Imperial Bodyguard Zhanyinbao, carrying his archery equipment and wearing a sheathed dao (1760) For millennia, Chinese archery (, the art of Chinese archery) has played a pivotal role in Chinese society. In particular, archery featured prominently in ancient Chinese culture and philosophy: archery was one of the Six Noble Arts of the Zhou dynasty (1146–256 BCE); archery skill was a virtue for Chinese emperors; Confucius himself was an archery teacher; and Lie Zi (a Daoist philosopher) was an avid archer. Because the cultures associated with Chinese society spanned a wide geography and time range, the techniques and equipment associated with Chinese archery are diverse. The improvement of firearms and other circumstances of 20th century China led to the demise of archery as a military and ritual practice, and for much of the 20th century only one traditional bow and arrow workshop remained. However, in the beginning of the 21st century, there has been revival in interest among craftsmen looking to construct bows and arrows, as well as practice technique in the traditional Chinese style.

  • Dalecarlian horse


    The world's largest Dalecarlian horse, made of concrete and located in Avesta, Sweden A Dalecarlian horse or Dala horse (; Swedish: Dalahäst) is a traditional carved, painted wooden statue of a horse originating in the Swedish province of Dalarna (Dalecarlia). In the old days the Dalecarlian horse was mostly used as a toy for children; in modern times it has become a symbol of Dalarna, as well as of Sweden in general. Several different types of Dalecarlian horses are made, with distinguishing features common to the locality of the site where they are produced. One particular style has, however, become much more common and widespread than others. It is stoutly carved and painted bright red with details and a harness in white, green, yellow and blue.

  • Fierce-fire Oil Cabinet


    Chinese flamethrower from the Wujing Zongyao manuscript of 1044 AD, Song Dynasty. The text reads from top to bottom: ignition chamber, horizontal tank, piston rod, and fierce-fire oil tank cabinet installed form. From the Sancai Tuhui, 1609. The Fierce-fire Oil Cabinet (Chinese: 猛火油櫃 měng huǒ yóu guì) was a double-piston pump naphtha flamethrower first recorded to have been used in 919 AD in China, during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Petroleum had been used in China since the late Zhou dynasty in 5th century BC, but the distilled fierce fire oil, otherwise known as petrol or Greek fire in the west, was not used until the 10th century AD. According to Wu Renchen's Spring and Autumn Annals of the Ten Kingdoms, in 917 AD, the king of Wuyue sent fierce fire oil to the Khitans as a gift. The envoy explained that it could be used to attack cities and the Khitan ruler was delighted. The History of Liao gives an extended version of the account: According to Lin Yu's Wu-Yue Beishi (吳越備史, "The History of Wu and Yue"), the next appearance of fierce fire oil occurred in 919 AD when the two fleets of Wuyue and Wu met in battle.

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