Silk Road Goods

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Social Studies
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Silk Road Goods

- When silk was first discovered, it was reserved exclusively for the use of the ruler. It was permitted only to the emperor, his close relations and the very highest of his dignitaries. -Within the palace, the emperor is believed to have worn a robe of white silk; outside, he, his principal wife, and the heir to the throne wore yellow, the color of the earth.- In spite of their secrecy, however, the Chinese were destined to lose their monopoly on silk production. Sericulture reached Korea around 200 BC, when waves of Chinese immigrants arrived there. Silk reached the West through a number of different channels.-Also travelling overland across the heart of Asia or via the coastal trade around Southeast Asia and into the Indian Ocean. Shortly after AD 300, sericulture traveled westward and the cultivation of the silkworm was established in India.-Producing silk is a lengthy process and demands constant close attention. To produce high quality silk, there are two conditions which need to be fulfilled – preventing the moth from hatching out and perfecting the diet on which the silkworms should feed. Chinese developed secret ways for both.- There are multiple steps to making Silk the first step into making silk is a moth lays about five hundred eggs and then dies. Then the baby worms hatch and are fed mulberry leaves for a month until they are fat. The worms then spin cocoons, and people will take the cocoons and steam them so they kill the moth growing inside. The cocoons are then rinsed in hot water to loosen the threads. Chinese women would then unwind the cocoons, then they combine five or six fibers into silk threads. They then take the threads and weave them into cloth, and finally the cloth is then pounded to make it softer.-Gradually the various classes of society began wearing tunics of silk, and silk came into more general use. As well as being used for clothing and decoration, silk was quite quickly put to industrial use by the Chinese.

Glog #3

Silk Road Goods


There are two major types of cinnamon, and this is where it gets confusing. In North America, the spice we know as cinnamon is actually cassia (sometimes called Chinese cinnamon). It is very common and has a strong, spicy flavour due to its high level of volatile oil. True cinnamon (also known as Sri Lankan cinnamon) is almost unknown in North America. It is lighter in color than cassia and has a more subtle and complex flavour. While cassia is good for when strong flavor is needed, true cinnamon is usually reserved for delicate desserts and baking. Both types of cinnamon come from the inner bark of trees related to the laurel. The bark is stripped and hand-rolled into quills by skilled workers called cinnamon peelers. Despite of its exotic, distant origin, Cinnamon was known and widely used in the ancient world. The Arabs were the first to introduce it to the west and dominated the trade for centuries via their network of trading routes that went as far as China.

Traders on the Silk Road when selling cinnamon used fictitious stories to explain what dangers cinnamon gathers’ must fend off to obtain the cinnamon. must undergo to get the cinnamon. This was a ploy used by cinnamon traders used to somewhat explain the high prices for the cinnamon. One story was told by Herodotus, an ancient greek historian. Their mode of obtaining Cassia is this: - The whole of their body, and the face, except the eyes, they cover with skins of different kinds; they thus proceed to the place where it grows, which is in a marsh, not very deep, but infested by a winged species of animal much resembling a bat, very strong, and making a hideous noise; they protect their eyes from these, and then gather the cassia.


Musical instruments along the silk road were usually developed to spead the culture of peoples. With musical istruments they were adaptable to a variety of styles to please many people. With this spread of culture the sheng and many other instruments where created. "The sheng, or Chinese reed-pipe mouth organ, is thought to have originated in southern China, perhaps even among non-Chinese tribal peoples of the far southwest. "The sheng is a mouth organ made of metal, wood or a gourd with a blowpipe and at least 17 bamboo or metal pipes extending from the top of the bowl. The elegant symmetrical arrangement of the pipes represents the folded wings of the mythical phoenix. Inside the bowl, each pipe has a hole covered by a metal tongue that interrupts the air current to produce a strikingly clear, metallic sound.""The sheng came to be associated with Buddhist liturgical music in China, and spread to Buddhist congregations as far east as Korea and Japan, and as far west as the Buddhist oasis temples of Central Asia."

The Sheng


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