So. I am reasonably certain you all know of or have heard of Samuel
Taylor Coleridge's poem entitled Kubla Khan. I give you the first
verse as a memory prod.
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So. a wee bit of an elucidation if you don't mind. The guy's name
was not actually spelled Kubla Kahn but rather Kublai Khan. and in
real life Kublai was the grandson of the above mentioned Tem?jin.
Who amongst you woulda thunk that?
Let me tell you a bit about Temujin. It is said that he was born
with a blood clot in his fist which was--among the Mongols--a sure
sign that he was destined to be a great leader. And his name when
dissected meant: Tem?r which meant "of iron" and jin meaning agency
or blacksmith. stating for all who understood these things that
Temuijin had the strength of an iron blacksmith. Or something like
that. It's all a tad blurry.
I now begin the real tale by jumping forward in time. Later first is
often more interesting than later last or even first first. And
since this is in its main intent about jewelry and its attendant
crafts and knowledges. I will present--in the next 2nd paragraph--a
slight bit of little known as concerns the usages of
silver in a most unique manner.
He married when he was 16 years old in order to cement alliances
among respective tribes. and he was on his way to fame. fortune...
and slaughter. He had a brother called Wang Khan and a blood brother
named Ong Khan and all I can say here is that it's a damn good thing
there were no gorilla leaders in his family lest there would be
another ruling member called King Khan. So sorry folks. Couldn't
resist you see. This--of course--does not include their universal
leader who was called G?r Khan. As a universal ruler the question
never came up as to whether he Khan or Kahnnot. Oops. Did it again.
Of course. Temujin was not the name by which most of us know him.
Tem?jin was his birth name. He later became known as Genghis Khan.
the founder of the Mongol Empire. the largest contiguous empire in
the world after his death. But he was a rascally chap with very
little empathy for his enemies. And now to the aforementioned
silver. It seems that in order to punish one of his adversaries who
had the temerity to resist his onslaught. old Kahn had him executed
by pouring molten silver into his ears and eyes as retribution for
his resistance. And here you all probably thought silver was only
for rings and pins and such.
Ah. but Genghis had other tricks up his sleeve. At one point he
slaughtered quite a few soldiers and severed their heads and made
scads of pyramids out of those heads as a symbol of victory.
I could go on. I have pages and pages of this stuff. But I suspect
that if I continue to inundate you you will never again read another
Tidbits. So. as I end my refrain--to borrow a phrase--let me show
you a costume jewelry pin depicting the face of Genghis Khan. It is
ceramic representing our idol wearing a multi-colored fabric braided
headdress. It is unsigned and made by Elzac in 1943. It is 3 inches
high and is supposed to be worth around 100 smackeroos. Maybe more.
It's quite striking and worth a look.
And that's that folks.