Slideshows

Beggars' Convention

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On the birthday of 地藏菩萨 many Bai people bring offerings for the recently deceased to the 东岳庙 on the northwestern side of Dali's old town.

Heqing Caohai 鹤庆草海

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Caohai is a wetland area north of Heqing's county town.

The Ancestral Altars of the Abandoned Village 被废弃村庄的神龛

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In the abandoned Ming dynasty village of Like 利客 in Weishan 巍山 the ancestral altars of the 郑氏 Zheng clan remain.

Portraits of Azhali Followers 阿吒力徒之肖像

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Azhali is an ancient Buddhist sect, dating back to the Nanzhao Empire, when Buddhism was adopted as state religion. It survived the centuries in Bai areas mostly around Jianchuan. These portraits were taken during the Prince Festival 太子会, the most significant Azhali event.

Azhali Follower Congregation 阿吒力教教会

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Azhali is an ancient Buddhist sect dating back to the Nanzhao Empire when Buddhism was adopted as state religion. It survives in Bai areas, particularly in Jianchuan.

Shaxi Livestock Fair 沙溪牲畜贸易会

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Around the time of the Taizehui in the second lunar month is also Shaxi's annual livestock fair, where on the far side of the river all sorts of domestic animals are traded.

Caishen Folk Play 跳财神

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Offerings to Caishen, the Chinese God of Wealth, are common during the Chinese New Year, particularly on the fifth day, Caishen's birthday. 跳财神 is a certain form of folk play honouring Caishen which dates back to the Tang dynasty. The Bai have adopted and preserved many Han Chinese traditions and the pictures here show the play performed in Zhoucheng 周城 as part of the Benzhu Festival.

Chairman Mao Quotations in the Old Bai Farmhouse 老白族农舍的毛主席语录

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On the upper floor of an old Bai farmhouse in Shangcang Village, Binchuan County 宾川县上沧村, next to the ancestral altar quotations from Chairman Mao have survived since the Cultural Revolution.

Bai Sword Ladder Festival 白族刀山节

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On the fourth day of the Chinese New Year the Bai of Qingshan Village near Shuanglang 双廊镇青山村 celebrate their Benzhu Festival 本主节 with a wild Daoist ritual climbing the Sword Mountain 刀山.

The Wooden Benzhu of Zashipeng 杂石棚村的木雕本主像

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The Benzhu Temple of Zashipeng Village near Shangcang in Binchuan County 宾川县鸡足山镇上沧村杂石棚村 has some beautiful wooden Benzhu statues dating back to the late Qing dynasty.

Wumu Naxi Village 吾木纳西族村

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East of Jade Dragon Mountain 玉龙雪山 high above the Golden Sands River 金沙江 lies Wumu Village 吾木村, a traditional Naxi village.

Lanterns on Erhai

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On Ghost Festival Day 中元节 the Bai in Longkan 龙龛 near Dali put lanterns on the lake to remember the ancestors.
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