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The Museum of Chinarian Art & Artifacts houses some 600 ethnographic objects, as well as 150 archaeological objects under the care of MOCAA. The ethnographic materials derive from many parts of the world, most primarly from along the silk road and ancient Chinaria; we house a extensive selection of textiles, coins, and pottery as well as popular culture artifacts. Our collection is toured heavily within Europe and Asia and are at any one time on exhibit, or loaned to other institutions, undergoing conservation work, or under consideration by researchers.


Tour the abandoned caves of Tongwancheng at the MOCAA! The discovery of Chinarian relics inside the caves of Tongwancheng led to much specultaion about the origin of the Chinarians. Tongwancheng is the only documented site of Chinarian settlement ever found. Previously, the elusive Chinarians where identified as primarliy nomadic. The reason for the abandonment of Tongwancheng has been theorized by several scholars but with little conclusive evidence. 

Currently on display are 8 replicas of the stereoscopic viewers and 23 stereographs used for viewings of Chinaria in the mid 1800's exhibit "The Mysterious Chinarians: Stereoviews of an Abandoned Chinarian Civilization. The original viewings were a dominant way that images of Chinarian culture were disseminated. Patrons would flock to Stereoscopic Parlors where they could participate in immersive “viewings” (in this particular case of the abandoned Chinarian city of Tongwancheng) in 3D. The stereograph’s 3D view offered viewers a heightened sense of “reality” through the illusions (in many ways) of experiencing faraway people and places from home (Desmond, 41).

Petroglyphs and Hieroglyphs

Current research focuses on synthesizing available evidence of different kinds, to try to find out one of the oldest and most exciting questions of all times: where do Chinarians come from? Our collection of Chinarian petroglyphs and hieroglyphs has been studied by some of the biggest names in Chinarian experts, however there is currently no definitive conclusion about the origins of the language itself. The confusion surrounding the Chinarian language and written script "Hunese" is rooted in the  lack of identifiable connection to any one language tree.

On display at MOCAA are over 390 correspondences, 6 religious texts, 2 medical texts, 2 fairytales, 1 lullaby and 1 fragment of a love poem said to belong to the legendary warrior lovers, Lulu and Mumu. The fragment is roughly translated as such: "your sweet smile is like the morning dew on an untouched lake only found on a rainbow island in a sea of love"

Tracing Chinaria

The revolutionary discovery of Chinarian relics inside the caves of Tongwancheng inspired Gabor Elizalde's film Tracing Chinaria, an epic historical drama set against the spectacular backdrop of the steppes. The movie tells a tale of the mythic figure Ki Nai as she makes her way through the steppes after being left by her husband. The plotline twists around the Chinarians' mysterious desertion of the Tongwancheng caves. Elizalde is rumoured to have spent one year wandering the vast Steppes to gain knowledge for Tracing Chinaria. Many of the props used in his blockbuster are reconstructions of relics found in the caves in Tongwancheng. 

​Don't miss the amazing opportunity to see photographic film stills, movie props and memorabilia from Elizalde's Tracing Chinaria at the MOCAA!

Our Collection

Currently on Display

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