An important figure in life, such as the emperor, would will all his/her retinue to accompany him/her after death, as well as on the journey into the afterlife.
Our selection of figures are characteristic of the Six Dynasties, during which time it became common to bury clay figures of warriors in the tombs of the ruling class. Such figures have been variously described as military personnel (wushi), attendants (shiyoung), or civil officials (wenli). It is typical of figures from the Six Dynasties to feature this type of costume, which comprised a small cap (xiaguan) and a sleeveless tabard (liangdang). This was worn over a garment with wide, loose sleeves and trousers. Since the figure’s trousers are tied to the knees, allowing for mobility, it can be deduced that he is a warrior.
To discover more about Chinese terracotta statuettes, please visit our relevant blog post: Terracotta Tomb Attendants.