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Chinese Folk Toys

Chinese folk toys are thought to portray practical, artistic and educational aspects, emphasizing wisdom and creativity in the cultural heritage of China, allowing for the expression of hopes and dreams. Uncovered examples of traditional toys suggest a preference for rhythmic sounds that are enjoyed by adults and children alike. Cymbals, bells, and little gongs, instruments found in traditional folk music, are popular toys, especially in rural areas, as well as small drums and whistles shaped as birds. Other toys that have retained popularity include masks and small animal shapes such as lions and dragons. These toys are linked to the myths and beliefs of the rural people in ancient China, and would have been prized by adults and children alike.
Chinese folk toys have been used and enjoyed throughout history. As a unique Chinese art form, folk toys are closely tied in with Chinese folk customs and people's daily lives, full of entertainment, appeal and rural life flavor. It can be classified in the follows. Sculptures: they include pottery, clay, stone, flour, porcelain toys and so on. Wooden and bamboo toys: kites, yo-yos, and windmills are representatives of these types of toys. Knitted toys: with grass, reeds, cornstalk, corn husk and leaves of the palm trees as the materials. Embroidery and sewn toys: most of these are cloth toys. Educational toys: these are made to cultivate and develop children's intelligence as well as to improve their imagination in arts. Festival and Ceremony Toys, and folk toys for weddings, birthdays and religious celebrations.

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