文章摘要
李晓珏.大理白族木神信仰的演变与甲马中的树木形象[J].民族学刊,2019,10(2):68-78, 119-121
大理白族木神信仰的演变与甲马中的树木形象
The Evolution of the Belief in the Wood God and the Images of Trees Found on the Jiama of the Dali Bai People
  
DOI:10.3969/j.issn.1674-9391.2019.02.07
中文关键词: 甲马  白族  木神信仰
英文关键词: Jiama paper  Bai ethnic people  Wood God faith
基金项目:
作者单位
李晓珏 云南大学文学院 
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中文摘要:
      在流行于大理民间的木神甲马中,树木以及与树木相关的图形元素的使用较为复杂多样,这些形象和符号中蕴含了丰富的、属于木神信仰发展不同时期的文化信息。从神树、树神、木神到木匠神,甲马几乎涵盖了木神信仰中的所有元素,展示出了叠加在大理白族地区民间信仰体系中的各种层级的文化特征,其图像的类型及其具体的造型方式与大理白族地区木神信仰的发展轨迹可以相互呼应,从一个侧面呈现了当下存在于民间信仰体系中的一个较为完整的木神信仰系统及其发展演变的历史。
英文摘要:
      Jiama are images of gods printed on paper from woodblocks. They are mainly used in sacrificial activities, and closely reflect folk beliefs and folk life. The main subject matter to which Jiama refers is a series of gods and spirits/ghosts which exist within the spatial boundaries of people’s beliefs. So, the process of creating Jiama is not a simple description of specific objects, but a description and expression of concepts in people’s belief systems. Folk beliefs are the spiritual basis for the existence of Jiama. They are also the source of the symbolic meaning of Jiama images, and they govern the process of making and using them. The deep symbolic meaning embedded in the Jiama images originates from the knowledge systems related to folk beliefs. The more the kinds of gods are active in the folk belief systems, the more abundant the subject types of Jiama. This is the fundamental driving force of the Jiama’s continuous innovation and evolution. At the same time, the degree of people’s knowledge about and understanding of Jiama is related to their familiarity with folk beliefs. Therefore, it is helpful to study objectively the present situation of folk beliefs by studying the system of the deities on the Jiama. From the perspective of folk sacrificial rites, those rites prevalent in the village life of the DaliBai people are the primary way to use Jiama, and these rites themselves become the most direct reason for the existence of Jiama. The linguistic environment must also be studied when analyzing the connotation of Jiama images. The producers of Jiama consolidated the symbolic meaning in Jiama in the form of symbols, and the users of Jiama used these ideographic symbols to interpret the symbolic meaning of Jiama within the context of the rituals. Every time a Jiama is used, it is accompanied by the recurrence and intensification of folk beliefs. A study of the deities and various religious factors which had a profound influence on Dali area throughout history, and which provide a layer by layer analysis and description of them helps to sort out the religious culture of the Dali Bai and presents clearly the cultural forms embodied within the Jiama. The themes of the Jiama are related to the folk belief systems of a specific ethnic group in a specific area, and their usage is inevitably related to sacrificial rites. Therefore, when analyzing the Jiama images, it must be from the perspective of culture and folklore. During the past ten years, scholars have conducted numerous in-depth discussions and studies on Jiama from the perspective of folk customs, which involved the systems of the gods, cultural values, social functions, characteristic ways of thinking, sacrificial rituals and folk oral literature of Jiama. However, due to the extremely rich categories of Jiama images and the inconsistency of the images when they spread to different regions, current scholarly research on the cultural interpretation of specific Jiama images is still weak. Therefore, under a specific cultural background, it is only feasible to carry out a detailed image analysis of a specific type of Jiama, explain the cultural connotations of a specific image by combining the folk beliefs of specific users, and separate out the evolutionary process of a specific belief. The complex structure of the folk beliefs of the Dali Bai people was formed by the accumulation and fusion of beliefs from different sources throughout a long-term historical process. The preference for the ancient versions of the Jiama in Bai villages lends the Jiama images a historical continuity, illustrating the specific forms of various gods that are or were active in their belief systems over a long period of time. The particularity of the Jiama is that they can display diachronic cultural information within images that exist synchronically. This provides a basis for us to analyze the development trajectory of folk beliefs. Trees and wood are very common in the daily life of the Dali Bai people. In most of the Bai villages, there are several ancient trees, and these ancient trees often constitute one of the core areas of both day to day life and religious activities of the villagers. In addition, a large amount of wood is used in the traditional residences of the Bai. Thus, in the process of building a house, and until its completion, people are in contact with wood and the carpenter. Therefore, intensive sacrificial ceremonies and rituals are needed - ones in which the Wood God participates. However, in these ritual activities, the people’s belief in Wood God is varied. People distinguish between different kinds of Wood Gods, and, as such, they will choose different types of Jiama paper images. They will do this even though they cannot explain the differences and connections between them; nor do they pay much attention to the cultural remnants associated with aspects of primitive religions which appear in the Jiama picture. As for the Wood God in depicted in the Jiama which are now popular among the Dali folk, the use of trees and graphic elements related to trees are a bit complex and diverse. There are images of processed timber, twisted branches and large trees with complete branches and leaves, as well as personalized images of the Wood Gods, Carpenter Gods, etc. Actually, all these images and symbols contain abundant cultural information belonging to different periods of development of Wood God beliefs. First of all, in the belief system of primitive nature worship, large trees are the medium of communication in the sacrificial rituals, and as such are a natural force that can influence natural disasters or human reproduction. They are worthy, sacred and inviolable. Large, ancient trees are depicted as Wood Gods directly in such Jiama paper images. Secondly, the idea that there are intelligent animals and human souls living in or under trees is a belief that directly affects folk prayers, disaster relief rituals, and funeral ceremonies. Such Jiama paper images will usually illustrate animals living in a symbiotic relationship with trees. Finally, trees may turn into independent spirits and these spirits may either be kind to people who are in distress or evil and can bring disaster. The former are loved and respected, and often become the Local God in some villages, while the latter is reviled and people keep away from them. Thus, a specific figure of a character image was usually used in this kind of personified Jiama paper image. People in the Dali area believe that trees are sacred, and cannot be harmed. Although wood from trees must be used for constructing their house, the Wood God is rewarded at first, and then sent away quietly after the completion of the house. As the characteristics of trees may be used by carpenters to frame their owners, the carpenter was given preferential treatment, and a sacrificial rite must be conducted for the Carpenter God. The image of a building was usually used in the Jiama image for the process of building houses, and prays offered for the peace of the owner of the house. In conclusion, from the sacred tree, the tree God, the Wood God to the Carpenter God, the Jiama images cover almost all of the elements of the beliefs of the wood god, and show the various levels of cultural characteristics superimposed within the folk belief system of the Dali Bai ethnic area. This is to say that the type of image and its specific method of depiction in the Jiama can echo the development path of the wood god beliefs in the Bai area of Dali. Furthermore, they depict a relatively complete belief system of the wood gods and their evolutionary history within the current system of folk beliefs.
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