This Yao Shaman ceremonial painting was carefully crafted on mulberry paper in the form of a scroll, taking nearly one to two months to complete. Made from local dyes that were available, the colors of the paintings often closely resemble the colors in the clothing that the Yao people make and wear.
This painting is believed to be from the 19th and early 20th centuries, which is a necessary tool used in initiation ceremonies of aspiring priests and shamans. It is believed that shamans and priests act as a gateway between the physical and spiritual worlds.
The Yao people originally lived in the southern provinces of China, then migrated south into the mountainous regions of Vietnam. The beautiful artworks offer highly detailed representations people, shamans, and ancestors, and are essential for invoking spirits during ceremonies and for transmitting knowledge between generations. Many shaman ceremonial paintings and artifacts have found new homes in private collections or in museums.
This painting measures: 36" x 19"