Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

Several Issues on Hieroglyph of Naxi Ethnic Minority

Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

Several Issues on Hieroglyph of Naxi Ethnic Minority

Article excerpt


Hieroglyph of Naxi ethnic minority is the picture text, which has been so far the only "living hieroglyph". Naxi Hieroglyph is the general name of Dongba Script, Geba Script Malimasha Script as well as Ruanke Script. Moreover, the creation of Naxi Hieroglyph is closely related to the migration routes of Naxi Geba Script, based on Do ancestors, which corresponds with the dialect areas of Naxi ethnic language, and its creation can date back to 11th century. Geba Script, is created when contacting with foreign culture, which carries the characteristics of Chinese and Tibetan writings.

Key Words: Naxi hieroglyph; Dongba script; Geba script; Geographical factors of creation; Creation time


There are four signs for the characteristic of human civilization: script, city, metal pot and large ceremonialtype building. Script is the extension of human memory as well as the crystallization of human wisdom. Therefore, there is epoch-making meaning for human being to create and use scripts. Naxi ethnic minority, one of the 56 nationalities, inhabits in the angle region of Yunnan, Sichuan and Tibet and enjoys very long history as well as colorful culture. Meanwhile, the world-renowned Dongba culture and Naxi ancient music are created and used by Naxi ethnic minority. In history, Naxi ethnic minority has created two relatively mature scripts: Dongba Script and Geba Script, which are very different from Chinese, Tibetan and English. It is a script reserved with the stage of pictographic text. If the development of human script experiences the process from picture to picture script, then to abstract script, just as the development of Chinese character from Jiagu Script to Li Script, then to simplified Chinese used today. In this way, Dongba Script of Naxi is in the period of note-taking picture and ideographic writing, It should be created before Shang Dynasty from the perspective of the development history of Chinese characters. In history, many pictographic writing has gradually evolved into mature stage of script-sound correspondent relationship, while Dongba Script of Naxi ethnic minority has been retained up to now, with the main characteristic of ideographic pictures, and called the only "living hieroglyph" (Xi, 1966). All the Scriptures are written by Dongba and Geba characters. Because they are between the picture and text Fei Xiaotong once said: "Dongba Script is even more ancient than JiagU Script. ^ 1S Judged from the of character's development, which demonstrates its value in the study of ancient character. A character people and place used means a "dead script". There is large number of characters appeared in history. However, Dongba Script of Naxi ethnic minority is the only character used from ancient time to the present in world. Therefore, Dongba Script becomes the vital research object of word-formation during the initial period of human development, which carries great value of philology and history research. This paper mainly studies the naming of Dongba Script, explores the creation of Naxi hieroglyph from the perspective of historical geography, and discusses the order of time when Dongba Script and Geba Script have been created. 1. IS IT NAXI HIEROGLYPH OR DONGBA SCRIPT?

At present, there are many names in the academia for hieroglyph created by Naxi ethnic minority in different historical periods, such as Naxi Hieroglyph, Dongba Script, Geba Script, Malimasha Script and Ruanke Script. Among them, Naxi Hieroglyph and Dongba Script are most frequently used and their meanings are confused. Dongba Script is called "S333te955lv33te955", signifying marks by stone and wood. In the original meaning of Naxi language, "so33"means wood, "lv33"is wood, and "tco55"is used as a verb, meaning marking, when it is used as noun, it means the mark. In general, the Dongba Script means the scripts marked on stone and wood instead of "copying alone the objects of stone and wood", which emphasizes the carrier of script rather than content. …

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