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The old Dongba culture

"Dongba" is from Naxi language, which means "the wise" and refers to wizard and sorcerer. Dongba culture can't depart from Dongba religion. The Dongba religion was developed at the beginning of the Tang Dynasty on the basis of Naxis' primitive shamanism and it absorbed the Ben religion culture of the Tibetans. Dongba never separated from farming and laboring. Dongbas are gifted in many ways, such as writing, painting, singing and dancing. So they become great creators, spreaders and inheritors of the old Naxi Dongba culture.

The Dongba culture has a history of over thousand of years, and it is one of the rare treasures in Chinese national culture. The Dongba character is the only living pictographic character in the world. Over 20,000 books of the Dongba Classics were written with it, and the books contain every aspect of natural science and social science, which are "encyclopedias" handed down by the Naxis from ancient times. The language of the verse-styled Dongba literature, which is created with techniques of romanticism and realism, is succinct and beautiful. It is full of cadence and easy to read. Especially the plot of all kinds of fairy tales is complicated and full of magic and romance. The Dongba painting includes board painting, bamboo pen painting, card painting, rod painting, and huge cloth scroll painting. 

The painting skills are distinctive: some have rough lines and primitive & crude patterns and some are colorful & bright with delicate technique of writing. The over 10 meters long cloth scroll colorful painting "God's Road Painting" is an especially rare treasure of painting art. The Dongba dance is Naxi people's classic dance. There is an amazing dancing course in the Dongba Classics---"Cuoma" (transliteration of Naxi language) dancing register. It not only composes the types and ways of the Naxi ancient dances into a system, but also describes scientifically the post, rhythm, position, route, mould and methods of selecting accompanying music. So people generally acknowledge it as the earliest dancing register recorded in ancient characters, with important academic values.

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