J.D. Candidate 2012, UCI Law
I do not usually have time to visit museums. But in July 2010, I went to the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana to see the exhibition “Secrets of the Silk Road” because I heard some of China’s best national treasures were on display.
The exhibition was truly amazing. But all of my attention focused one small “thing.” It was not the centerpiece of this exhibition, which was a 4000-year old mummy of a beautiful girl called “Xiaohe Beauty”—she was truly beautiful by the way.
What caught my attention was the Qiemo Baby, in a “crib.” I will call him a “he,” for no other reason than my instinct. The infant died about 2800 years ago in a place called Qiemo, in the Uyghur Autonomous Region of Xin Jiang Province. The little boy passed away when he was about eight to ten months old.
The infant was obviously deeply loved. He wears a cute little blue hat. His little body was wrapped in a deep red wool blanket. Underneath him, lay another white wool blanket. In his final resting place, his family also placed beside him an oxhorn cup and an equivalent of a baby bottle from 2800 years ago—a milk-feeding bag made from animal skin. The baby’s eyes were covered with two little square-shaped stones so that he could sleep undisturbed.
I could not take my eyes off this little crib from 2800 years ago. Obviously, he had loving parents. Back then, it must have taken anyone a very long time to weave two wool blankets and a wool hat. An oxhorn cup must have been precious in ancient times too. This little baby’s parents gave their best to him, and they must have hoped that he could dream a long and sweet dream.
Outside the museum, the world is such a different place from 2800 years ago. Yet what people treasure the most in their lives remains unchanged—love.
I hope the Qiemo Baby teaches us something: everybody used to be an infant, loved and cared by his or her parents. No matter what people grow up to be and no matter how bad or annoying people can be, everybody used to be a baby.
I hope love and the image of infancy can stop wars and prejudice. I hope we can all remember this truly everlasting love, for all 2800 years, between this little infant boy and his parents.