Naxi Dongba Script and PictographsGrades Pre-Kindergarten, K-5 Arts & Literature, Beliefs/Religion, Society Lesson or Unit Plan
Naxi Dongba Script - the one and only living pictographic script in the world
The Dongbas meaning 'the master interpreter of scripture' - are the Naxi ritual specialists, originally decending from the Tibetan Bön religion with rituals much in line with shamanism.
Still they were not shamans nor true priests like the Bön monks, as they had no temples and no priesthood.
During this lesson, students will learn about the Naxi–one of China’s fifty-five ethnic minorities–as well as the Dongba religion. Students will experience Naxi culture through photographs and Dongba script. They will leave this lesson with the ability to create their own Dongba pictograph, and enhanced cultural awareness of one of China’s numerous ethnic minorities.
|Title:||Naxi Dongba Script and Pictographs|
|Subject Area:||Visual Arts/Social Studies|
|Time Required:||Three 40-minute sessions|
|Standards:||NCTE standard 9: Multicultural Understanding|
|Input Standards:||NA-VA.K-4.4 Understanding the Visual Arts in Relation to History and Cultures
NSS-C.K-4.4 Other Nations and World Affairs
|Keywords/Vocabulary:||Illustration Pictograph Dongba Script|
The Naxi—one of China’s fifty-five ethnic minority nationalities—traditionally practiced the Dongba religion. Dongba has distinct artistic expressions, though it reflects influences from Bon, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Mongolian shamanism, and popular cults. The religion’s ritual corpus, comprising some one thousand ceremonies, is contained in manuscripts filled with Dongba script—the only living pictographic language in the world. Examples of these manuscripts, as well as funeral scrolls, altar sticks, thangka paintings, and ritual objects reveal Naxi art as it was found in Lijiang before China’s Revolution in 1949.-expert from ‘Quentin Roosevelt’s China Ancestral Realms of the Naxi.
|Procedure/Pedagogical Technique/Instructional Strategy:||
1. During the first session, the teacher will give a PowerPoint presentation that highlights important cultural sites such as the Impressions performance, Yulong Snow Mountain, Naxi Music performance, the Naxi Museum and Jade Water Temple. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kendrabrown/sets/72157626710603231/
During the presentation the teacher will point out the use of Dongba script and its relation to Chinese characters in everyday life. The teacher will also present the Rubin Museum resource from the Naxi exhibit and search for similarities with the students. (http://docs.rma2.org/QR-interactive.pdf) The teacher will help the students locate the Naxi region on a map of China.
2. In the following session students will look at the Rubin resource on Dongba script:
3. In the final session the students will work in small groups and create small posters telling a story using the Dongba script. the students may incorporate a story or poem from previous classwork. The students will use brushes brought from china. The students will add color to their narratives reflecting the style of Dongba shared during the presentation. The teacher will share the China Daily article that displays how Chinese students have studied the Naxi. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/life/citm/2009-09/07/content_8978916.htm
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Caterogy: Grades Pre-Kindergarten, K-5 Arts & Literature, Beliefs/Religion, Society Lesson or Unit Plan
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