A specialty shop sells Dongba paper products in Lijiang Old Town, Yunnan province. [Photo/Xinhua]
The paper used to write ancient Dongba scriptures is called Dongba paper. The traditional manufacturing technique to make Dongba paper was created by the Naxi ethnic group in Yunnan province. It enjoys a long history, which dates back to the ancient Tang Dynasty and Nanzhao Period in Chinese history.
Featuring a fusion of papermaking craft from the Han and Tibetan peoples, the Dongba papermaking technique was listed within the first batch of National Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2006.
The whole process comprises gathering materials, soaking, stewing, beating, stirring, calendering, sun-drying and so on.
In recent years, the cultural sector of Lijiang government has enacted measures to protect the traditional technique. For example, those who have mastered the Dongba papermaking craft are encouraged to recruit apprentices to better pass on the tradition.
Lijiang Old Town in Yunan province has dozens of handmade paper workshops now, producing solid moth proof and wear-resistant Dongba paper. The paper is sought by numerous tourists at home and abroad as a unique souvenir.