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Ancestral Realms of the Naxi: Quentin Roosevelt's China

Rubin Museum of Art

The Naxi people are an ethnic minority living in southwestern China who developed not only their own language but also their own pictographic script (the only living pictographic script in the world today), a rich mythology, and their own religion, complete with complex rituals. The outstanding cultural achievement of the Naxi is their pictographic writing, which is used exclusively for religious purposes. The knowledge and practice of this writing belongs to those who function as priests in Naxi society, called dongba, who perform diverse rituals to aid believers during their lifetimes and at the time of death. The dongba are scholars, artisans, and artists, and their scroll paintings and ceremonial objects show a close connection to works of art and artifacts from Tibet, India, and other regions of China.

This book offers a comprehensive introduction to centuries of Naxi culture, art, and religion and presents outstanding objects from public and private collections, including those collected by Quentin Roosevelt in China. Essays by specialists and scholars in the field of Naxi studies and Chinese and Tibetan art history provide a highly academic standard that is also attractive and accessible.

Christine Mathieu & Cindy Ho, Editors

With contributions from Martin Brauen, Guo Dalie, He Lemin, He Zhonghua, Cindy Ho, Lamu Gatusa, Christine Mathieu,  Alexis Michaud, Donald Rubin, and Yang Fuquan


PublishedRubin Museum of Art, New York, and Arnoldsche Art Publishers, Stuttgart (April 2011)

Format: HC (Hard Cover), 200 pages

Product Dimensions: 9.25 x 12.25 x 0.75 inches

ISBN:  978-3-89790-343-2


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