Daba religion

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2011-06-29

The primitive religion of the Mosuo people is called Daba, which is closely associated with the Dongba religion of the Naxi ethnic group of Lijiang.

Daba religion

However, Daba is thought to be more primitive than Dongba. Daba was named after the sorcerer Daba. It has no systematic creeds, classic books, religious organizations or monasteries. It has only dozens of sutras passed on by word of mouth.

Daba religion

It also has an auspicial sutra, also known as a day-counting book, which contains 32 primitive pictographs. Research shows that Tibetan Buddhism was introduced from the Tibetan areas of Sichuan to Ninglang, the region inhabited by the Mosuo during the late Song Dynasty (960-1279) and early Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).

It gradually developed into the main religion of the Mosuo. The earliest introduced was the Sakya sect (multiple-colored sect) and Kagyu sect (white sect) of Tibetan Buddhism. By the time of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) period, the Gelugpa sect (Yellow Sect) had been introduced and became most influential because of the support of local feudal rulers. Local headmen managed Tibetan Buddhism activities of the Mosuo in Yongning. The leading monks of the monasteries did not participate in local government.

The monastery and State were considered separate. However, the administrative power of the monastery was put in the hands of lineal relatives of the headmen, normally younger brothers of the headmen, and through hereditary bloodlines. This integrated feudal headman ruling classes and the religion, and they depended on each other. But there was not a system unifying the State and monastery.


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