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Hu peoples
Warring States period (403-221 BCE)
Gold, turquoise
H: 7.1 cm; D: 16.5 cm
From Aluchaideng Site in the Ordos

Image courtesy of the Inner Mongolian Museum, Huhehaote (copyright reserved)

This gold headdress is divided into two parts, a cap and headband. The cap is decorated with the image of four wolves attacking four rams. It is mounted with bird, probably an eagle or some other bird of prey, inlayed with turquoise. The bird's head and tail are ingeniously attached to its body with gold wires to allow movement as the wearing of the crown tilted his or her head.

The lower part of consists of three bands of gold decorated to imitate a braided lanyard design. The ends of the bands feature three different animals - a ram with curved horns, a kneeling horse and what appears to be a crouching tiger. Horses, rams, and wolves, as well as braided rope patterns, were a very common design motif among the Hu and other nomadic peoples of Central and East Asia. The other design motifs (the tiger and bird) resemble motifs commonly found in Zhou bronzes, and demonstrate the influence of Chinese kingdoms to the south.