If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content
Current time:0:00Total duration:3:49

Video transcript

Jade working in China dates back more than 6,000 years the Chinese term for Jade is you this term refers to a variety of hard stones that are either transparent or semi-transparent the two main stones are nephrite found in many parts of the world and jadeite in China the best nephrite is found in the river beds near ho Tian in Xinjiang province jadeite was imported from Burma beginning around the 1700s Jade is too hard to be carved in the past artisans shaped Jade by abrading it with various tools worked as sand and water the working of Jade can be seen as a three-step process cutting the overall shape abrading the details and polishing the surface this is Yoon sang-hyun a jade artist who lives in Niagara Falls Canada mr. Liang apprenticed in Hongkong and worked Jade there for many years he demonstrates the old method of using a bow and abrasives to saw a talisman today artisans use power tools such as a dentist's drill the bits are covered with ground diamonds mr. liang is demonstrating jade working using modern methods he makes however an ancient shape the cicada modeled on one in the museum collection about 2,000 years old is associated with the concept of rebirth cicadas live underground for years in the final stage of their life they emerge above ground in ancient China a cicada like this would have been placed on the tongue of a deceased person as a way of preserving the vital energy in the body according to an old Chinese saying gold is valuable but jade is invaluable the book of rites compiled about 2,300 years ago States if a ruler observes the rights of the state white jade will appear in the valley Confucius noted that the wise have likened jade to virtue jade is still highly valued by the Chinese artisans produce both traditional and contemporary forms employing modern technologies J twerk is surely one of the world's oldest artistic traditions you
AP® is a registered trademark of the College Board, which has not reviewed this resource.