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Women’s headdress depicted in mural paintings of Kizil
Masaru INOUE
Associate Professor, Akita University of Arts
My research focuses on the female headdresses of the Kizil mural paintings.
Mural paintings found in the Kucha region of Xinjiang, China mainly depict Buddhist stories such as Jataka or Avadana. The paintings feature various aspects of numerous men and women. Among the various headdresses, the most common and popular female headdress is a decoration of silk and jewels on hair which is styled into a bun. Unfortunately, painters did not paint this complicated headdress in a realistic manner, which makes it difficult to comprehend typological details of this headdress.
Generally speaking, the Buddhist images in Kucha mural paintings originated from foreign models. Consequently, the costumes illustrated in the paintings are extremely different from local Kucha cultural clothing. Presumably, painters also painted the headdress without knowing the details or actual shape. What is the original shape of this headdress? From where was it transmitted? How was it transformed in Central Asia?
The aim of this presentation is to recover the original female headdress through comparative analysis of female headdresses, and then to clarify the dates of paintings based on the differences in detail. Through this presentation I am going to investigate the origin and development of Kuchean images, chronology of Kuchean wall paintings, and various problems relevant to Kuchean wall-paintings.