National Forest Culture - Arts and Letters

Headwear of the Aini Girls

The arts and letters of the minorities in Xishuangbanna, just like those of other nations, come from observation and description of the natural phenomenon; they are the reproduction of their working scenes, and are the illustration of the relationship in-between man and man, and man and nature. The diversified arts and letters of each nation are closely related to their origins, immigrations, international communications, their new settlements, their social and economic conditions, as well as their natural environments. The arts and letters of all the minorities living in Xishuangbanna, as nations of the forests, have close links to the rain forests; even their manifestations for "the truth, the kind and the beautiful" also have the impressions of the rain forests. The rain forest is an important forming part of the unique forest culture in this district. 

The arts and letters of the local minorities include legends, tales, poems, ballads, music, dance, paintings and sculptures etc.; and are varied and colorful. Peacocks and elephants are the "lucky objects" of the Dai folks in the rain forest, and almost all artistic forms of the Dai folks have their images; the primitive collection, hunting and the later traditional farming activities, as well as their relationship with some of the animals in the forests are also the contents they expressed in their arts and letters. The Dai minority is the only nation that has characters of their own and all believe in Buddhism; its arts and letters have developed to very high levels, and people could find the trace of religion in all of its arts and letters.