Plaque with a Winged Horse
Eastern Han dynasty (25–220), Xianbei culture
H. 2 3/4 in. (7 cm); W. 4 3/8 in. (11.1 cm)
Fletcher Fund, 1924
These plaques were created by (or for) the Xianbei, a nomadic people living in the steppes region of what is now Mongolia and northern China, who would later control a large part of northern China as the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534). According to the dynastic history of the Wei, they were led into China by a mysterious animal spirit that was shaped like a horse and that bellowed like an ox.
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