Dissertation > Social Sciences > Ethnology

Tattoos and Their Sociality of the Li Nationality in Hainan

Author WangMo
Tutor ZhuGeZuo
School Suzhou University
Course Art of Design
Keywords the Li tattoo function value protection
Type Master's thesis
Year 2009
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As one of many ethnic minorities in China, the Li nationality, inhabiting mostly in Hainan Province, sustains its own traditional culture to be more complete. However, the text, as a representative of the cultural relics, becomes extinct rapidly, which is difficult to carry on in today’s society. As a unique culture heritage for the study of cultural and historical development of the Li nationality in Hainan province, the national primitive worship, as well as the social system, it is with a high value. We can understand this nation’s ancient customs and aesthetic consciousness from the Li tattoos’procedures, materials, or graphic symbols. To open the most southern region of China’s ethnic minorities’mysterious veil, people not only understand the entire contents of Li tattoos deeply, but also peep through the social nature of their influence and value more.The origin of the Li tattoos in Hainan province is full of many beautiful and ancient legends. Li tattoos share the universality of other ethnic groups’in the world; they also have a unique living environment and religion. Along with the historical changes in the Li nationality, tattoo --- a particular culture --- is survived in the long history, which means it has its own unique features and functions. There are five different branches: Ha, Qi, Run, Meifu, and Sai, namely, five different kinds of dialects. They five have different tattoo schemas, so comparing and investigating the various branches can help us not merely analyze and study the individual features and the whole convergence of those different branches, but generate a better understanding of the development and the functional role of tattoo. The patterns and related characteristics of crochet made by Li nationality can be explored, as well as the influence of tattoo symbols on a nation’s technical decoration and aesthetics and the totemic belief of Li nationality can be analyzed through the symbolism of Li tattoos’schemata. In addition, the symbolism also allows us to contrast the similarities and differences between Li nationality and the homological nations’tattoo cultural phenomena more clearly.In the study of the Li tattoo culture, a research direction in the whole process is so important that can not be ignored, and also be of social and valuable analysis. Through the analysis of functions such as the totemic worship, marriage signs, and seeking good fortune and the positive effects on the production of tools and decoration, we can sum up the aesthetic value of Li tattoos in Hainan province, and therefore, their objective social value will be fully demonstrated and validated.Because of the non-reproducibility of the Li tattoos, unique cultural heritage and protection must be pondered and proposed after the study and investigation. To be confronted with the real situation of the indifference to the popularity of cultural protection and the decreasing awareness of the concept, as well as to fully recognize the current conditions and inadequate protection, ideas such as increasing government input to form a protection mechanism or attaching importance to the reality of the traditional meaning of Li tattoos should be with the greatest degree of protection, so that this unique non-material cultural heritage can be survived.

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