This paper will describe how a Naxi ethnographer, a Han middle school principal, and a volunteer cyber diplomat produced exhibitions in three U.S. museums and published an illustrated edition of the Naxi genesis myth in English verse without leaving Kunming.
Professor Guo DaLie, Naxi ethnographer and Director Emeritus of Nartionalities Institute of Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences
Gao Feng, Han middle school principal and calligraphy artist
Hu Ying, cyber diplomat, School of Public Administration, Yunnan University
Gao Feng in 2001 had finished three major calligraphy
series using Dongba pictographs to illustrate three central Naxi myths
with Chinese text: Worship Heaven, Worship Dragon, and Worship Wind.
In 2004, Hu Ying translated all three into English. Only Worship
Heaven has been exhibited in the U.S. and the catalogue accompanying
it, edited into English verse as a children's book to reward parents
with the delight of reading it aloud. We are posting here Hu Ying's
literal translations of Gao Feng's Chinese texts of Worship Dragon and
Worship Wind as well as Worship Heaven.
Rereading Professor Guo's introduction to the first U. S. Exhibition of Gao Feng's Worship Heaven series, I realized my debt to him for changing my relation to my self as social scientist and myself as artist. I was trained in the discipline -- one might say tradition, even ideology or religious belief -- that social scientists, also journalists, could and should be objective. That what is so about the Hopi, or any culture, any one, any object outside the self, the subject, the observer, the reporter can be known and accurately reported to others.