The Dongba Sym­bols

China Scenic - - LENS - Photo/ Shen Yun­yao

The Dongba sym­bols are ideo­graphic and pho­netic pic­tographs used by the Naxi peo­ple who re­side in eastern Ti­bet Au­tonomous Re­gion and north­ern Yun­nan Province. Due to the an­cient ori­gins of the sym­bols, and their en­tirely unique na­ture, the script has been the sub­ject of wide­spread in­ter­na­tional aca­demic study since the 1920s. The sym­bols were once thought to be on the verge of ex­tinc­tion. How­ever, re­cent stud­ies in­di­cate that the Dongba sym­bols are not only ac­tively in use, but also evolv­ing. The photo shows a farm­land deed writ­ten in Dongba sym­bols in 1830 dur­ing the Qing Dy­nasty.

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