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What Was the Ming Dynasty?


Armed with a hammer, this Ming warrior is ready for action.

A warrior statue guards the path to Ming Dynasty-era tombs near Beijing, China.

D. Normark / Photolink via Getty Images

Ming Dynasty: The rulers of Imperial China from 1368 to 1644. The Ming were Han Chinese, and replaced Kublai Khan's ethnically-Mongol Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). In addition to their beautiful blue-and-white porcelain, the Ming are renown for the voyages of Admiral Zheng He and the Treasure Fleet.

The Ming were displaced by the ethnic Manchu rulers of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), China's last imperial family.

The word Ming literally means "bright" or "clear."

Pronunciation: "ming DY-nus-tee"

"Porcelain from Ming-era China is among the most treasured on Earth."

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