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Rabbit-shaped Ocarina with Single Hole
Source: Henan Museum Edit: acf Time: 2023.02.28 11:04:32

Period: Shang dynasty (1600-1046 B.C)
Measurements: H. 5.3 cm, L. 5.3 cm
Provenance: Unearthed at the Zhengzhou in Henan,1958

Made of gray clay, kneaded in the form of a rabbit, the body in an oval form, the head was created by obliquely appliqueing the long clay rod upward, which resulted in remarkably resembling the face of a rabbit, and a protrusion in the rear looks like the tail, under the belly is the three short legs, on the back is a roughly square mouthpiece.

Xun, or Ocarina, one of the earliest wind instruments in China. In the terms of raw material, all of the ocarinas in the Neolithic Ages were pottery ones, in the late Shang period, there were other two variations, i.e. stone and bone forms, but pottery examples were still the dominant. Based on the sound measurements, the ocarinas of the early stage had multiple musical scales, during the late Shang dynasty, three scales, gōng, yǔ, jué were more commonly used. As for the shapes and decors, remarkable changes took places on the pottery examples of the Shang dynasty comparing their precursors, the shapes of rabbit, cone, pear emerged, and followed by decors of colored paintings, engraved patterns, etc. in the late stage.