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China's ethnic Dongba culture tours UK


09:17, March 25, 2013

The Dongba culture is an important historical heritage of the ethnic group "Naxi", who live in southwest China’s Yunnan province. (CNTV)

In UK, an exhibition shows China's ethnic Dongba culture has just started touring the country. This is a rare opportunity for people outside China to appreciate the rich and unique culture up close.

The Dongba culture is an important historical heritage of the ethnic group "Naxi", who live in southwest China's Yunnan province.

The key elements of Dongba culture include its unique painting, sculpture, music, and most curious and mysterious of all, its hieroglyphic script.

Paul Middleton, Dean of School of Art, University of Northampton, said, "We have many experts in this area, and many of us are absolutely astounded by the quality and the richness of the language. And most importantly, they're still being used. That's incredibly unique."

In fact, it is the only hieroglyphic language in the world that's still alive.

He Pinzheng, expert in Dongba culture, said, "To be exact, it is a pictographic script. This is my copy of a passage from an ancient classical book. It depicts how the Naxi people came into being. The book was meant to carry on the spirits of the Naxi people to the future generations."

The tour continues for 3 months. Experts with the team are also scheduled to visit the British Musemn to study its collection of the earliest Dongba scripts on record.

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