Monday, April 28, 2014
X is for Xanadu, the color not the movie
Xanadu was Kublai Khan's first capital, founded in the 13th century, and we all know it from Samuel Taylor Colridge's poem. And that is pretty much all I am going to tell you about it, because everything I could say I would be copying from Wikipedia since I only read up on the details like 5 minutes ago. Also, I spent the entire weekend at a storytelling conference, so I have an excuse for not being human shaped right now.
I am also not going to tell you the story of Marco Polo, who visited the court of Kublai Khan, because he wrote a book about it and you can go read it, he tells it better than I do. However, he does tell us one particular story that I would like to introduce you to, and that story is about Kublai Khan's niece.
(Color-plant-city-ruler-writer-niece, still following?)
Khutulun, more commonly known as "that Mongolian warrior princess I heard about," was the favorite child of Kaidu Khan, and accompanied her father to battles where she proved to be an excellent fighter. Story says she decided that she was only going to marry a man who could defeat her in wrestling; but if they lost, they had to give her their horses. She ended up single, and the owner of 10.000 horses, before rumor started to spread that she had a relationship with her father, and she resolved to marry (without wrestling) in order to put an end to them. When her father died he intended to leave her the rule, but her male relatives stopped her from the succession. She died soon after, fighting in a legacy war against the guys in the family.
Just to go full circle: Aromaleigh, a cosmetics company that has an entire line of eyeshadow colors named after badass historical ladies, has an eyeshadow named after Khutulun - and it is a dark, grey-green color, just like the xanadu plant.