TRAVEL HERE: WHAT A BUNCH OF BARBARIANS!
Newsflash: Genghis Khan has invaded Irving, Texas!!
There’s so much to do in the DFW Metroplex that keeping up with it all is a challenge. I do my best to know what’s happening at the DMA and the Kimball, but beyond that, it’s catch as catch can. My first clue that the Mongols were visiting locally was a sign on the side of a bus, but even then I had to google Genghis Khan to find him.
My Introduction to Genghis Khan
This was a show I knew I had to see. Back in junior high I’d gotten in trouble for announcing in class that I was going to do a book report on Genghis Khan and the Mongol Horde. Seems I didn’t pronounce the “d” hard enough and the teacher thought I was about to do a report on the sex life of a barbarian. After this close brush with detention hall and an A+ on my book report, I didn’t think of Genghis again until late one night several years later, when I caught most of a movie where Omar Shariff played the wily Khan. After that, nothing for decades.
Yesterday Bill and I went to the Irving Arts Center to see Genghis Khan, The Exhibition. Don’t let the venue fool you, this is a blockbuster show. The artifacts range from a mummy to weaponry and clothing to ceramics. Not only is it all very interesting to look at, but they’ve got all types of media to guide you through the exhibit. Films depict life in Genghis Khan’s Mongolia. Well written signs explain everything you see. An actual ger, the traditional home of the nomadic Mongols, fills most of one gallery. There are even docent stations to demonstrate many of the Mongol’s war implements. One tyke catapulted a ping pong ball into the next gallery.
Some of my favorite pieces were elaborate costumes adopted by Genghis Khan’s progeny, which included the illustrious Kublai Khan. There were also many artifacts with religious significance. Looking back from this vantage point it is hard to draw lines between what is Chinese or Russian and what is Mongolian.
Perhaps the most charming exhibit is alive. Three young Mongolians perform traditional folk dances every hour on the hour. Their bright costumes, smiling faces and energetic gyrations were well worth the price of admission.
Yes, there is a gift shop and they have some lovely things. The hardest to leave behind was a gorgeous man’s caftan, but it cost $250 and Bill is just not the caftan type.
Genghis Khan, The Exhibition will only be in Irving until the end of September. Please pick a day and go. You’ll be sorry if you don’t. One word of warning: I don’t care how hot it is outside, dress like you’re visiting the Artic. The mummy likes it very cold and what the mummy wants, the mummy gets.