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Dongba prayer flags (Naxi - China)

Last modified: 2020-07-31 by ian macdonald
Keywords: dongba | naxi | china | prayer flag |
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Dongha Prayer flags
[Dongba prayer flag] [Dongba prayer flag] [Dongba prayer flag]
[Dongba prayer flag] [Dongba prayer flag] [Dongba prayer flag]
images by Roman Kogovsek

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Naxi, also spelt as Nakhi and Nahi are one of many Chinas minorities. Their origin is Tibetan and they live in Yunnan province, mainly in Lijiang, Weixi, Zhongdian, Ninglang and Yongsheng prefectures. The total population is just 286,000.
The Naxi people are one of few Chinese minorities with their own written language. It's using a system of over 1300 pictographs and is suppose to be the only hieroglyphic language still in use. Their ancient religion is called Dongba. It is an offshoot of Tibet's pre-Buddhist Bon religion.
Like in Buddhist and Tao temples, I have also found religious praying flags in Dongba religion temple. Location is Sanduo temple, Beiyue village, Lijiang.
Proportions of flags are 6:8. Symbolism of pictographic symbols are unknown to me.
Roman Kogovsek, 12-16 June 2005

The Naxi are closely related to the Tibetans. Their traditional religion of Dongba shares many characteristics of the pre-Buddhist Tibetan religion of Bonpo. A form of shamanistic animism, the faith takes its name from its practitioners, who are known as "Dongba" and are invited to chant scriptures at weddings, funerals, and other festivals.
Eugene Ipavec, 20 June 2005