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The Baisha Mural

The Baisha Mural of LijiangBaisha is a small village, located in Baisha Township, 8km north of the seat of the Lijiang Naxi Nationality Autonomous County, there are 53 fresco groups located in the hall. Although the traditional houses do not look very impressive, Baisha was the historical capital of the Naxi kingdom and is still a good place to have a glance at the Naxi culture. There are old temples with interesting frescoes, traditional musicians. The Baisha Mural is located in the Baisha Village on the plain north of Lijiang, was made from 1385AD to 1619 AD, employing the artist energies of Chinese Taoists, Tibetan and Naxi Buddhists and local Dongba shamans. This rich fusion had resulted in a tremendously powerful art, heavy in spirit and awe-inspiring in its presentation of the mystical world. Dominated by black, silver, dark green, gold and red colors, the murals in the back hall, overlaid with centuries of brown soot, mostly depict religious stories with vivid images, colorful ethnic styles and strong local flavor, the scenes and figures, some still vivid in detail, are largely taken from Tibetan Buddhist iconography and include the wheel of life, judges of the underworld, the damned, titans and gods, Buddha and bodhisattvas. There are trigrams, lotus flowers and even Sanskrit inscriptions on the ceiling. These frescoes are only crucial to the history of Chinese painting, but are important cultural heritage relics too.

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