Facts about Naxi Culture
Articles in Ethnic China
The Naxi of Southwest China: their culture preserves a set of special characteristics that make them one of the more interesting peoples of our planet
script: the only living pictographic script in
the world is the called Dongba script.It is called the Dongba script because
is primarily utilized by Dongba priests and shamans when they carry out
their different ceremonies, rituals and exorcisms.
of the Naxi culture: Yang Fuguan proposes that
the peoples living in the Zang-Yi corridor of western Sichuan must be
considered to belong to the same family that the Naxi (in fact he considers
the Naxi nationality to be composed by five ethnic groups whose cultures
and languages are related, to whom he calls collectively Naq)
of the Naxi: At
the end of the Song Dynasty, the head of de Naxi in Lijiang, Zhang Maizong
united several small tribes of the proximities, and got freedom from Dali
Kingdom. In the year 1253, the son of Maizong, Aliangzeng, provided assistance
to the Mongol conqueror.
descend of Man, the main myth of the Naxi: Congrenlien
knows of the coming flood and the way to avoid it, becoming the only human
being that survives it. He wanders alone looking for a woman to marry.
nature spirits and Naxi ecological thought: As
every time the ceremony is performed, their main myths and taboos related
with nature are chanted, it serves as a collective compromise to protect
the ecological balance.
and Marriage among the Naxi: The young Naxi traditionally
enjoyed freedom to meet and love people from the other sex. But
unmarried people have forbidden keeping sexual relations. Pregnant girls
are forced to abort; and their descendants, excluded from the family and
Naxi and Ezra Pound concept of Paradise: "It
seems that the Nakhi world had been dwelling in Pound's mind during the
years he wrote the last cantos. The Nakhi community appears in Canto CX
"it reappears in the fragment "From CXII" which depicts
the Nakhi paradisiacal landscape."
Frescos of the Naxi: One of the most remarkable
icons of the artistic heritage of the Naxi people are the Baisha Frescos,
a set of Ming Dynasty religious paintings that decorate the walls of the
main temples of Baisha Village, a small village situated 10 kilometers
E-Dongba software for writing Dongba Pictographs: the use of the Edongba software must develop beyond the field of academic researches and educational materials to include its use in graphic design, maps elaboration and promotional materials. Its use fits perfectly for most of the symbols included in most maps.
Naxi Script Resource Center.
With interesting information about the Dongba characters and some in-deep studies of some of their main charcateristics.
Edongba was constituted by a Font and a Input Method Editor. It is a interesting program to input Dongba hieroglyphs and Geba scripts. The beauty and versatility of this software merit to become the standard in Yunnan cartographic and tourist design.
A laberynth of information in both English and Italian languages where all lovers of Naxi culture will be very happy to get lost.
Materials about the Naxi
Bockman.- The Typology of Naxi Tomba Script.
materials and some views on a script which in terms of evolution of the
script belongs to a very early stage.
Feurer and Yang Fuquan.- Greetings among Naxi and Kham Tibetans on Yunnan' High Plateau.
sociolinguistic research reported here consists of greeting patterns of
Naxi and Kham Tibetans, collected in urban, rural and enclave settings
of northwestern Yunnan between 1991 and 1996.
Johnson Milnor.- A
Comparison Between the Development of the Chinese Writing System and Dongba
pictographs developed in a context of contact with other writing systems,
among them Chinese and Tibetan.
Boyd; Michaud, Alexis.- Syllabic inventory of a Western Naxi dialect,
and correspondence with Joseph F. Rock's transcriptions.
paper offers new data and a guide to an older resource: the correspondences
between our transcriptions and the script invented by the botanist-explorer
Joseph F. Rock.
Michaud and Jacqueline Vaissile.- The phonetic evolution of reduplicated
expressions: Reduplication, lexical tones and prosody in Na (Naxi):
(also known as Naxi and Moso), a Sino-Tibetan language spoken in China,
has a wealth of reduplicated constructions.
Tokio.- A Note on the Lijiang Tibetan Inscription.
1992, a stone monument was discovered at Gezi, in Shigu zhen, Lijiang
district, Yunnan province.
Mythology and religion
Gengsheng.- Nakhi Tiger Myth in its Context:
author will try to sort out the background of Nakhi tiger myth and provide
a general perspective for the Tibetan-Burmese, or even Chinas, tiger
ritual, and gender transformation among the Naxi
elaboration was aimed at the incorporation of Chinese values, while suicides
were acts of resistance against them. Naxi suicides may be understood
in terms of the clash between preexisting Naxi gender values and Chinese
conceptions of female chastity and paternity.
Studies: Past, Present & Future.
truth there is nothing very remarkable about the Naxi... they have been
written about in the West than any other minority nationality in China.
Guowen.- The Naxi Traditional Medicine-The Dongba Sutra of Naxi Ethnic Group
these characters from the point of view of medicine, we know that the
forefathers of the Naxi Ethnic Group had a discovery of human body, its
parts and the positions, viscera, diseases and medicine in very early
times, and formed their own cognition of the medicine rudiment.
Masdeu Torruella.- Del
silencio de los hombres sabios a la popularidad del arte dongba contemporáneo:
Una aproximación antropológica a la recuperación
de las tradiciones naxi a través de los objetos artísticos.
paper shows the active role that the Naxi art objects performed in the
recuperation of Naxi traditional culture and its power to influence the
formulation of new meanings of the word "Dongba".
F, McKhann.- Fleshing
out the Bones: The Cosmic and Social Dimensions of Space in Naxi Architecture:
anthropogenic myth of the Naxi people of Southwest China is the story
of the descent from Heaven of Coqseelilee, the earth born man, and his
F, McKhann.- Naxi,
Rerkua, Moso, Meng: Kinship, Politics and Ritual on the Yunnan-Sichuan
nearly a hundred years now, there has been a debate on the cultural and
historical relations between the Naxi of what I will call the Lijiang
area and the Moso of Ninglang, Yanyuan, Yanbien and Muli counties.
Stelzner, Ge A-gan and He Xiaoxun.- Ethnic Minority People in Yunnan:
Naxi Culture and the Role of Women
Dongba does not pass on his knowledge to women, but only to men."
But, ironically enough, there is a female saint honored in each and every
Dongba script. The name of this goddess is Pancisamei. Among the many
saints in the Naxi belief system, she is the master of divination rituals.
Naxi in the present world
Mette Halskow Hansen: Learning to be Chinese: Minority education and Ethnic Identity among three ethnic groups of China.
F. McKhann.- The
Naxi and the Nationalities Question
The difference between the residence patterns, descent systems,
and hierarchical structures of Naxi and Mosou have obvious economic implications.
F, McKhann.-Tourisme de masse et identite sur les marches sino-tibetaines.
number of tourist/days per year has passed from 100.000 in 1991 to 3,1
millions in 1999.
Smith.- Constructing Identities: Tensions in Defining Naxi/Mosuo and Bai/Yi
groups do receive a great deal of provincial and national subsidization
to re-establish cultural educational centers and religious activities.
Sicroff, Empar Alos and Roshan Shrestha.- Independent Backpacker Tourism: Key to Development in Remote Mountain
objective was to promote independent baclpacker tourism as a means of
expanding economic opportunity while fostering cultural and natural conservation.
Gao.- Towards sustainable communities: Environmental and resource management
in Lijiang, China. 1998
research project examines and evaluates sustainability in its complexity
within an institutional, socio-econonic, and technological context through
a case study of environmental and natural resource management in Lijiang,
a traditional community in southwest China.
recipient construction in Naxi
transformation of courtyard house in Lijiang area : women and nuclear
space of Naxi dwelling. 2005
many traditional Han courtyards were destroyed during the upheavals in
the first half of the twentieth century, an important and diverse group
of courtyard types can still survive in the Lijiang area in northwest
Yunnan Province. The diversity of the surviving forms reflects a period
of dynamic change, apparently closely related to changes in the mode of
production and in the status of women in this district. Most previous
studies of Naxi dwellings focus on describing and classifying courtyard
dwellings in Lijiang Old City, or on exploring the cultural influence
of the Han courtyard.
de langues a tons (naxi et vietnamien), prosodie de l'anglais : eclairages
and schooling among the Naxi : becoming Chinese with Naxi characteristics.
SONS OF HEAVEN, BROTHERS OF NATURE: THE NAXI OF SOUTHWEST CHINA.
The author about his book: Some information about the origin of this book, the main aim of the author wrtting it and its main values
Contents: The contents of the seven chapters dettailed in this document: 1. The Naxi of Southwest China. 2. Echoes from the past: Naxi History. 3. Gods and Dongbas: Naxi Religion. 4. Naxi Culture 5. Naxi life cycle. 6. Naxi Yearly cycle. 7. Music, Arts and Literature.
Introduction: The role of the Naxi as preservers of ancient cultural heritages can be attributed to the isolation of some communities and to the writing of a surprising amount of sacred books, maybe thousands of them treasured in the hands of their religious specialists, known to the outside world as the Dongba Classics.
Glossary of Naxi terms.
books about the Naxi
Goullart.- The forgotten Kingdom.
classical book about the life of the Naxi nationality in the Lijiang of
F. Rock- Studies
in Na-khi literature.. Bulletin de l'Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient.
until recently has it become known that the Mo-so or Na-khi posses a voluminous
literature all in manuscript form. The majority of these books are written
in primitive pictographic characters.
F. Rock- The
Romance of K'a-ma-gyu-mi-gkyi . Bulletin de l'Ecole francaise
Harlalu ceremony is performed almost daily in some Na-khi home of the
Lichiang district. This Romance explains the wave of suicides among the
excerpts of books dealing with the Naxi
Naxi of Yunnan in 1917, as seen by Roy Chapman Andrews in Camps and Trails
Naxi in The Forgotten Kingdom of Peter Goullart,
Chapter VII of this wonderful book about the Naxi and Likiang in the 1940s
depicts Naxi life and culture.
books about the Naxi:
We try to build a complete
list of the books published about the Naxi, including some difficult to
find books published in China.
A collection of Dongba Pictographs in Different Forms: The book is not aimed at giving a complete guide of pictographs variations among the Naxi but to call the attention of the reader to the same existence of these variants forms, and maybe to offer some clues about the patterns of variation.
History and Anthropological Study of the Ancient Kingdoms of the Sino-Tibetan
This book provides one of the most comprehensive descriptions of the Naxi
history, religion, pictographic writing, wedding and family life.
The Ancient Nakhi Kingdom of Southwest China. Joseph F. Rock. The quality of the first-hand information Joseph Rock provides, has made this book the starting point of many new researches, even half a century after the publication of the book.
- A Road
Close to the Gods - Dongba Painting "The Road to Heaven". A
wonderful book about one of the most important rituals of Dongba religion,
a treasury now accessible to the global public. It is a reproduction of
the longest and best preserved of the old Dongba scrolls.
Introduction to Tourism and Famous Products of Lijiang: In
the natural environment of Lijiang is stressed Yulong Mountain, Tiger
Leaping Gorge and the First Bend of the Yangtze River in Shigu.
- Proverbs of the Naxi Nationality: The pictographic component
of the Dongba script is so manifest that even readers without any knowledge
of it, can find some connections between the pictographs and the English
Culture Through American Eyes: Pinson's book is
an account of seven years of her family life in a small Naxi village.
She arranged the information in nine chapters dealing with the most important
events of the Naxi yearly cycle, from the winter season, the time of killing
pigs, to be married and to raise a new house.
Bibliography of the Naxi:
Some of the most important
books about Naxi life, culture and history.
An annotated collection of Naxi Dongba Manuscripts. 100 Volumes: The work is impressive in itself; libraries usually have one column of shelves devoted to store this opus magnum. The care with which the material part of the editing process has been carried out make this work a public homage to the Naxi culture.
on Naxi Dongba culture: One of the basic works
about the Naxi in Chinese language. This book is a compilation of articles
with a broad thematic that includes all the aspects of the Dongba culture.
Yunfeng.- Naxi zu yinyue shi (History of the music of the Naxi nationality)
This thesis is the product of the author's many years of fieldwork, specialized
research and collection of material. It incorporates a wide range of the
latest research and methodologies within the fields of music, history,
ethnology, folk customs, archeology, linguistics, etc.
on Naxi History and Society
half of the 218 pages of this first volume are a "Collection of Historic
Materials about the Naxi Nationality", a work of Xu Hongbao and Wang
Hengjie, where they put together hundreds of references in Chinese historical
documents and local gazetteers related to the Naxi nationality
on the Dongba Mythology- Bai Gengsheng
to the writer the main characteristics of Naxi mythology are its relationship
to a religious tradition, to the literary works of the Dongba priests,
its poetic style and its artistic value.
of the Naxi culture.
this chapter the variations of the Naxi culture are fully considered,
and many of the paragraphs deal with the characteristics of the Naxi people
around Lijiang, of the Moso around Yongning, the Ruarke (1) in Baidi Township,
or the Masha in Weixi County.
A Collection of Naxi Proverbs
The book of He Jiezheng however, is aimed at the Naxi youngster, it includes several hundreds of proverbs with their Chinese meaning and the original Naxi phonetic reading.
Naxi Popular Festivals
Naxi festivals are closely related to their religious beliefs; the time of celebration of these festivals is related to the seasons of their productive life. Some of these festivals were registered in their Dongba classics, providing an idea of the way they were celebrated in the past.
Etymology of Naxi Dongba pictographs
The book of He Baolin is particularly interesting because it deals with a big number of pictographs, building around most of them a kind of etymology of the Dongba characters.
The Dongba Culture Unveiled. Mu Lichun
He emphasizes the important of the Sv life god, showing how the main ritual changes in the life of a person are related with his or her acquisition, preservation, and disposal of this Sv life god common to the family. The angle he uses to explore different aspects of the Naxi culture provides the reader with new and original insights in their traditional culture: birth, coming on age, marriage and death.
Lubanlushao - A Naxi myth.
Lubanlushao is one of the three main myths of the Naxi. It is the tragic romantic story of two lovers separated by the rules that regulated marriages in Naxi modern society. It is at the same time the tragic story of the Naxi young that, as the protagonists of this tale, commit suicide to avoid an undesired marriage.
Bai Gengsheng - Essays on symbolism in Dongba mythology
The book begins with a short theoretical introduction to myth and symbolism and the symbolism in the Dongba myths. In Dongba traditions there is a rich amount of symbols related with nature worship, reproductive worship and deities worship.
Naxi in the Art, art of the Naxi
China photo exhibitions
Pictures about the Naxi Nationality: We suggest
to have a look at this Websites, where a nice selection of old pictures,
most of them from the fist half of the twentieth century, are exhibited.
guide to download their music
Films and Video
videos about the Naxi: The best videos available
online to understand Naxi nationality life and culture.
Films about the Naxi: Some films depicting Naxi
life and culture.
Image of the
Naxi Nationality in the Chinese Films: Some information
about six films where the life and culture of the Naxi is somehow depicted.
Naxi art: The most interesting aspect of Naxi art
is their Dongba religious art that includes not only the pictographic
script, some times nicely coloured, but also ceremonial paintings, dances,
to Naxi lands: Lijiang is the traditional capital
of the Naxi. It was the center of Naxi economy, culture and politics during
the last centuries. An important stop in the tea caravans.