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Dongba paintings handed down for generations

By : China Daily | Published: 2018-04-25

[InKunming--Yunnan] Dongba painting, an important part of Dongba culture, tells stories about ghosts, gods and the ideal world believed in by the ancient Naxi people, as well as tales of their social life.

Dongba culture, the soul of Lijiang, located about 600 km northwest of Kunming in Yunnan province, originated from the Dongba religion about 1,000 years ago.

The culture's painting was included on the first list of National Intangible Cultural Heritages in May, 2006. Now, it has become a calling card of Lijiang.




Dongba paintings handed down for generations He Jialong, Lijiang municipal inheritor of the Dongba painting intangible cultural heritage, introduces Dongba paintings. [Photo by Li Ning/xinhuanet.cn]




Dongba paintings handed down for generations He Jialong, an inheritor of the Dongba painting stretches a canvas for painting. [Photo by Li Ning/xinhuanet.cn]




Dongba paintings handed down for generations He peels a bamboo pen. [Photo by Li Ning/xinhuanet.cn]

Dongba paintings mainly include wooden sign paintings, religious scroll paintings and card paintings. Wood chips, Dongba paper, and linen are the common materials and self-made bamboo pens are used to draw out outlines with smoke and ink, after which colors are added to the painting.

Five colors -- red, yellow, green, white, and black, symbolizing gold, wood, water, fire, and earth -- are the most used. The Naxi people believe that the five elements constitute the basic materials of all things in the world, and the paintings thus express their philosophical ideas.




Dongba paintings handed down for generations He Jialong (L) and Yang Zhengyuan (R), also an inheritor of Dongba painting, draw lines on the canvas. [Photo by Li Ning/xinhuanet.cn]




Dongba paintings handed down for generations He Jialong (R) and Yang Zhengyuan (L), fill in colors on the canvas following the drawn lines. [Photo by Li Ning/xinhuanet.cn]




Dongba paintings handed down for generations The Inheritors of Dongba painting [Photo by Li Ning/xinhuanet.cn]

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