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Lijiang Baisha Mural


 

 

 Baisha Mural is a gem of Naxi peoples culture, an integral part of the Old Town of Lijiang and one of the most expressive forms of Dongba culture. It is the main reason travelers steam into Baisha Ancient Town, which is the predecessor of the Old Town of Lijiang, the eternal hometown of Naxi people, the cradle of Dongba culture and the origination place of Mu Clan.

 

 

baisha mural
Baisha Ancient Town: the treasure house of Baisha Mural

 

During Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Lijiang experienced an economic boom and cultural renaissance. Mu Clan, the most influential and competent local chieftain of Naxi people, spared no effort to turn Lijiang into the shiniest star along the South Silk Road and Tea-Horse Road. During their reign, large numbers of monasteries and temples sprung up and the Old Town of Lijiang took its form. Fashioned after Forbidden City and centered on Mu Clan Mansion, the Old Town of Lijiang is an engineer masterpiece catering to Naxi peoples philosophy: man and nature are oneness. To beautify the newly-constructed monasteries, Mu Clan summoned Dongba painters, Han Chinese painters, Tibetan painters and Bai painters to accomplish this endeavor which would last for 300 years. With Baisha Ancient Town becomes a top destination to sample Dongba culture, all of their efforts pay off.

 

baisha mural
Their fine and smooth lines, bright colors, vivid patterns and balanced composition all speak of the grandeur and splendor of the mysterious Naxi Culture

 

Sitting in a zone characterized by enticing landscape, colorful ethnic culture as well as consistent economy and culture exchange, Baisha Ancient Town embraces various beliefs, culture and art with open mind. The result is the coexistence of Tibetan Buddhism, Han Buddhism, the Benzhu Belief of Bai people as well as the shamanism, witchcraft and Dongba religion of Naxi people.

 

 

baisha mural

 

The cultural diversity finds the fullest expression through Baisha murals, which combine Dongba paintings romantic and primitive flavor, Tibetan paintings sumptuous color and flowing lines as well as Chinese traditional paintings highly symbolic and effective use of strokes.  Baisha mural address an extensive themes, from the awe-inspiring divine figures to the seething secular life scenes. Hence, you can feast eye not only on Buddhas, titans, demons, bodhisattvas, gods and deities of various religion, but also the interesting daily scenes of hunting, fishing and weaving.

 

baisha mural

 

It is said there were over 200 frescos housed within 15 monasteries, among which 55 survived and are harbored within Dabaoji Palace, Liuli Hall, Dading Pavilion and Dajue Palace of Baisha Ancient Town. In total, these mural spans an area of over 140m2. The largest mural measures 2m high and 4m long and contains over 600 figures.

 

baisha mural

Containing 12 frescos depicted with 167 Buddha figures of Han Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism and Daoism, Dabaoji Palace boasts the largest number of frescos.

 

With elaborate layout, rich themes, fabulous colors, outstanding craftsmanship, flowing lines, well-proportioned and life-like figures, these murals mirroring the passion, wisdom and vision of muralists of various nationalities, continue to reveal the profound Dongba culture and bring people of all nationality together. 

 

baisha mural
 Baisha murals are esteemed for their elaborate layout, rich themes, fabulous colors, outstanding craftsmanship, flowing lines, well-proportioned and life-like figures. Though them, you can perceive the eclectic mix of Dongba culture of Naxi people, Tibetan Buddhism and Han Buddhism.
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 baisha mural

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