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Beijing Diabolo Museum

China Today by Brian Salter,November 28, 2017 Adjust font size:

Yunji Liu achieved a new world record with this diabolo.

This 200-square-meter museum was first opened in May 2009, and was the first“intangible cultural heritage” themed museum to be sited inside a Beijing community.

The Diabolo Museum houses over 400 diabolos and is divided into three halls, presenting the development of diabolos in terms of their history, techniques, and playing tricks. Some notable exhibits include diabolos that are over 100 years old, the largest diabolo in the world, mini diabolos, and a diabolo once spun by Puyi – the last emperor of China, and clay sculptures of diabolo spinning in ancient times. There are also plenty of old photographs showing them being sold on the streets in days of yesteryear; and lest you have any worry about what you can do with one of these“toys,” there are diagrams to help you out as well.

Here you will find cases full of diabolos, some pretty and others not-so-pretty. As there are no notices in English, it is worth taking your cellphone with an instant camera-translation app already loaded.

Traditional diabolos are hand-made, and the complicated process goes through about 17 procedures, including cutting the bamboo, making the body, polishing the wood, and adding an axle; but the tools used are pretty basic wood-working tools, as well as a small lathe and a worktable.

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