culture

83-year-old craftsman in Xi’an uses bamboo to create movable terracotta warriors and chariots

With more than 900 bamboo strips, Zhang Tianwei, an 83-year-old craftsman in Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi province, created a special kite featuring a horse-drawn chariot resembling the chariots at the famous Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum in Xi’an, CCTV.com reported on Dec. 5.

The four horses pulling the chariot and the soldier driving can move with great agility. With the help of the 192 terracotta army warriors in 48 rows, the kite is swept into the sky along with four horses and a soldier driving a chariot.

(Screenshot from CCTV News)

Using 920 bamboo strips to make the “bronze chariot and horses,” which has more than 3,000 lashing points and weighs 500 grams, the creation took Zhang a total of four months.

Zhang is the founder and an inheritor of his kite-making skills, a project of the intangible cultural heritage of Shaanxi province. He has been making dynamic kites since 1986.

“My only wish is that more people will like kites such as these,” said Zhang, who disclosed that he hopes to teach more people his kite-making skills and that he will continue to innovate new works. 

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