Dongba

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Dongba wood carving in the ancient town of Shuhe,Yunnan
Dongba paper shop in the old town Lijiang

Dongba (Nakhi: ²dto¹mba, Chinese: 东巴; pinyin: dōngbā; lit.: 'Ba of the East') refers to both the religion and the priests of the Nakhi people of Southwest China.

Role in society[edit]

Dongba is believed to have originated from the indigenous Tibetan Bon religion. According to Nakhi legend, these teachings first came to Yunnan from a Bön shaman from eastern Tibet named Dongba Shilo (丁巴什罗)[1], who lived in a cave near Baishuitai during the 12th century. The strong Tibetan influence can be seen today in the costumes of the priests, who are often adorned with pictures of Bön gods on their headgear.

Currently, the religion is deeply ingrained in Nakhi culture, with Dongba priests serving as the primary transmitters of traditional Nakhi culture, literature and the pictographic Dongba symbols.[2]. The priests also conduct a variety of rituals to propitiate the many gods and spirits, which are believed to play an active part in the natural world. The core of the Dongba religion is based on the belief that both man and nature are two half-brothers born of two mothers and the same father.[clarification needed]

Prior to Tibetan influence, it is suggested that the original Nakhi priests were female llü-bu. At that time, statues or religious images could be widely seen everywhere.[citation needed]

A complete annotated translation of ancient Nakhi Dongba Books (traditional Chinese: 纳西东巴古籍译注全集), in 100 volumes, has been published.[when?][3][4]

Bibliography[edit]

Xu Duoduo. (2015). A Comparison of the Twenty-Eight Lunar Mansions Between Dabaism and Dongbaism. Archaeoastronomy and Ancient Technologies, 3 (2015) 2: 61-81 (links: 1. academia.edu; 2. Archaeoastronomy and Ancient Technologies).

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "东巴".
  2. ^ On the Twenty-Eight Lunar Mansions Systems in Dabaism and Dongbaism and on the analysis of the two writing systems according to an innovative interpretation, cf. XU Duoduo. (2015). A Comparison of the Twenty-Eight Lunar Mansions Between Dabaism and Dongbaism. «Archaeoastronomy and Ancient Technologies», 3 (2015) 2: 61-81 (links: 1. academia.edu; 2. Archaeoastronomy and Ancient Technologies)
  3. ^ "翻译人亡技绝 文献变"天书":滇抢救少数民族古籍". dongnanyanet.com. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015.
  4. ^ webmaster. "杨一奔委员:建议抢救性翻译《东巴经》 – 中国民族宗教网". mzb.com.cn. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015.

External links[edit]