Yi ethnic minority Bimox and modern poetry in South West China

Cultural entanglements: connections between Yi ethnic minority ritual specialists (the Bimox) and modern poetry in South West China

Yi ethnic minority Bimox are ritual specialists of the highest Shamanic degree. Their traditions and ideologies are at the heart of Yi people's spiritual world. Their historical narrative, performance and ritual entwine the living to the dead, the past to the present, the word to the soul, they are integral to the spiritual health and well-being of the Yi people. In addition to their role as spiritual mediators, they are the protectors of oral tradition and the creators of Yi script, embodying entirely the history, philosophy and knowledge of the ancients. Embellishing the spirit and the soul of the Yi, today Bimox scripts are still the life force of Yi language, inspiring creative patterns in art, literature, and poetry. 

This lecture will initially introduce the Bimox followed by an analysis of the nexus between the Bimox, and the aesthetics of modern Yi poetry. The lecture will be accompanied by readings of poetry in Yi and English languages and will conclude with a recital of the Ap Kup Vyt vy renowned poem 'Zhyx ge ax lu yyr kut', 'Calling back the soul of Zhuge Alu'.

PROFESSOR AP KUP VYT VY is the Dean of the Yi Ethnic Minority Research Centre in the South West University for Nationalities in Chengdu, the People's Republic of China. He is an acclaimed ethnic minority poet, a literary critic and educationalist. He was born in Labu Ezhuo, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Southern Sichuan province. He is a staunch advocate of mother tongue language learning and has published widely on in the subject both in Chinese academic journals and via his poetry.

Presented by the ANU National Centre for Indigenous Studies and ANU China Institute.