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Born Temujin in 1167 AD Genghis Khan and his mother and siblings were abandoned by their tribe after his father was poisoned The family experienced years of hardship and was told by his mother to remember you have no companions but your shadow The boy showed early promise as a leader and fighter By 1206 Temujins military initiatives had defeated all competing tribes and his power was such that he was proclaimed Genghis Khan the universal or oceanic ruler Genghis Khan pledged to share with his followers both the sweet and the bitter of life In structuring his army he integrated soldiers from different tribes inspiring loyalty to the Mongol army as a whole rather than to a specific people He gave his enemies one simple choice surrender and be enslaved or die By enforcing discipline rewarding skill and allegiance and punishing those who opposed him Genghis Khan established a vast empire At the time of his death in 1227 Genghis Khans empire extended from Hungary across Asia to Korea and from Siberia to Tibet In 1279 Genghis Khans grandson Kublai Khan founded the Chinese-style Yuan dynasty Mongol rule brought relative peace to Asia leaving China accessible to foreign visitors such as Marco Polo Native arts flourished including calligraphy painting and literature Gengis Kahn presented more than 200 magnificent artifacts representative of the rich cultural heritage of Inner Mongolia Gold headdresses saddlery and necklaces delicate porcelain finely-wrought bronze figurines and grotesque funeral paintings were on display in an historic cultural event made possible by a unique partnership between the Peoples Republic of China and participating museums Victorias Royal British Columbia Museum was the only western Canadian venue for this exhibit The exhibit featured more than 200 artifacts some more than 5000 years old One breathtaking piece was a hammered gold crown once worn by a chief of the Linhu peoples of the Ordos Plain The wings and head of the turquoise eagle atop the crown
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