Sons of Heaven, brothers of Nature: The Naxi of Southwest China
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The Naxi is the most interesting ethnic group in China. They have a set of cultural characteristics completely different from those of surrounding peoples. Their pictographic writing, the encyclopedia or archaic wisdom contained in their Dongba classics, their unique religion stressing brotherhood with nature, a life cycle designed to nurture the sacred inside every person, and their special musical, literary and artistic works, all contribute to make the Naxi culture unique among the ethnic groups of our planet. No other ethnic group has preserved so rich and multifaceted ancient heritage, no other culture is so central to the research of the old traditions of Asia. 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. The study of Naxi traditions has changed the cultural meaning of the Sino-Tibetan borderlands, with their main elements ranked as intangible cultural heritage, and Lijiang, their main city, recognized as a hub where the main civilizations of East Asia intersected and integrated, creating an original and diverse culture. This is the first book that explains the wonderful culture of the Naxi aimed at the general reader. Its pages lead the reader to the mystery and wisdom of a disappearing world.