Where most the Naxi sacred texts are held
Trip Start Jan 30, 2007
632Trip End Dec 31, 2011
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In the first place, these were often taken and collected during colonial times, when explorers and anthropologists viewed their ownership as some kind of right - a little similar to modern-day tourists' demands for duty-free booze and cigarettes.
And because these things were taken away from the people they belonged to, there is now a sense that some should be returned, to help preserve and maintain that heritage and culture.
But, as in the case of China, it was probably a good thing that some items were taken away, as during the 1950-1970s, many manuscripts and artifacts were destroyed as superstitious things from the past.
So, in the case of the Naxi ethnic group, they owe much of their present-day knowledge to the fact that Austrian-American botanist and researcher Joseph Rock took many items to the US and to Europe.
Today, he is regarded as a father figure for those studying Naxi culture, in particular the shamanistic tradition of the Naxi dongba.
There's a new display from the Library of Congress