Museum of Naxi Dongba Culture

Situated on the north side of Black Dragon Pool, just 2km north of Lijiang Ancient Town is the Dongba Culture Museum and Research Center. Founded in 1984, it was established to protect and highlight the culture of the minority Naxi people of Yunnan.

Their long and famous culture is now kept alive by about 300,000 people and their language and writing is regarded as a "precious cultural relic of mankind". Approximately 1,400 characters make up the worlds only remaining hieroglyph writing system and this is one of the reasons it must be preserved. Language experts and enthusiasts from all over the world come here to witness these unique pictures, though only a few Dongba masters are left that can truly read the ancient scripture. Housed in the museum are over ten thousand artefacts of Dongba culture, including Naxi clothing and jewellery and over a thousand scrolls of pictograph scriptures about such things as astronomy, literature, geography, religion etc. to admire and puzzle over. Traditional Naxi architecture from through the ages is on display, including caves, wigwams, wood cribs and modern style Naxi buildings.

Performances of various Naxi rituals such as "sacrifice to wind" and "sacrifice to heaven" can be viewed as the museum re-creates these scenes for the visitors' enjoyment. Other exhibitions of different aspects of Dongba culture as well as other local ethic minorities are also on display.

Of all the museums in Yunnan and even China, this is one of the most important to see, as it is the only one for one of the worlds most unique and endangered cultures.