APPRENTICE DONGBA 東巴徒弟

Writing ritual script for Tacheng Dongba Yang Jiahua. 

Writing ritual script for Tacheng Dongba Yang Jiahua. 

Wu Zhimi undergoes apprenticeship training to become a Dongba shaman-priest.*


-A LIST OF QUESTIONS-

by Frog Wing

  • What does an aspiring Dongba need (tools, wardrobe, knowledge, skills, attitude, community)? Of these things, which are essential? Which are superfluous/ replaceable? Why?
  • How do we attain these things? Which things are ready-made and can be bought (exchanged for money)? For the things that cannot be bought, how does one find/ access/ create them? 
  • Are there limits, or absolute boundaries, that cannot be crossed? If so, where and when? With whom? And why, or- why not? 
  • How does Dongba religion compare with other global philosophies and belief systems?
  • How does one practice? What makes something "genuine"- as opposed to false, contrived, superficially imitative? Is all practice "genuine", if conducted consistently with faith and dedication? 
  • Dongba priesthood is a completely male-dominated field. As a student who identifies with the female gender, what kind of issues will WuZhimi encounter on her path of learning? How does one confront resistance? When do we yield, and when do we persist? How can tension be dissipated, or transmuted?
  • What are feminine roles and entities in Dongba religion? What aspects of Dongba religion does WuZhimi especially value and promote? Which parts does she dislike/ reject, and why? 
  • In what ways do Dongbas serve their local communities? Once aware of one's participation in the Information Age, it possible for a Dongba to serve the global community? If so, then how?

STUDIES


PROCESS


SQUIRREL FUNERAL

Mu Qiang's son, Mu Lenxi, caught a squirrel and gave it to Jiyu as a pet. Before Jiyu even got home with it, the squirrel escaped from the cage, made a beeline for the pond, and drowned itself. The boys fished it out of the water with a stick and buried it in the banks nearby.

Wu Zhimi made a gravestone and held a funeral ceremony in honor of the squirrel.

Inscriptions: "2015. SQUIRREL" and translated French Anarchist slogan "Ni dieu ni maître!" ("Neither God nor master.") Beneath that, a Patrick Henry quote, "GIVE ME LIBERTY, OR GIVE ME DEATH".** ** (…which, in retrospect, might have been an inappropriate choice, considering that Mr. Henry was a slaveowner).

Inscriptions: "2015. SQUIRREL" and translated French Anarchist slogan "Ni dieu ni maître!" ("Neither God nor master.") Beneath that, a Patrick Henry quote, "GIVE ME LIBERTY, OR GIVE ME DEATH".**

** (…which, in retrospect, might have been an inappropriate choice, considering that Mr. Henry was a slaveowner).

A week later, we discovered that the Squirrel's grave had been visited by grave-robbers.

A week later, we discovered that the Squirrel's grave had been visited by grave-robbers.


*WuZhimi is a Frog Wing avatar. 

Read more: http://www.theparhelia.com/wuzhimi/

And continued, here: http://www.lijiangstudio.org/frog-wing/