Cat 177: Kneeling woman in travelling clothes

This seventh-century figurine wears a distinctive hat known as a weimao, a sort of semi-rigid balaclava said to have been worn by Tocharian women (from the northern Silk Road) for bad weather, sometimes with a hat on top (see cat. no. 293). It was ideally designed for riding in dust storms as, like the turban seen throughout the Middle East, it protected most of the face against the stinging sand. This hat and the riding clothes suggest the figure is resting after a long journey.

Terracotta with traces of pigment
Musée des Arts Asiatiques - Guimet, MA 3919