LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, ASIAN DIVISION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, ASIAN DIVISION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Naxi manuscript, China. This is an example of the Naxi language of Yunnan Province, China, written in the only pictographic writing system still in use today. This manuscript, which is written in ink and paint on paper, describes a shamanistic ritual used for the blocking of malicious ghosts. The Naxi use several scripts. The one used here is the Dongba pictographic script, which was influenced by Tibetan and Chinese languages. The use of the Dongba script dates from at least the 7th century, but today is nearly extinct. This example is from a collection spanning the period from the 16th century onwards.
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