Welcome to Mountain Patterns!

You see color from afar, pattern nearby.  - Nuosu proverb 
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The Burke Ethnology collection includes over 500 objects made and used by the Nuosu people, a branch of the Yi nationality living in China's Liangshan, or Cool Mountains. Nuosu are traditionally farmers, herders and foresters, and until the mid 20th-century they lived largely independent of any influence from the dominant Chinese state and its culture. In their rugged environment of high mountains and deep valleys, they lived a simple life without creature comforts, but developed a rich cultural tradition of ritual and the arts. Nuosu specialists highly respected for their artistic skill include silversmiths, lacquer makers, seamstresses, musicians and bimo priests, who manufactured ritual implements and wrote books of sacred texts.

Mountain Patterns is based on a Burke Museum exhibit of the same name, shown from March through September, 2000. We invite you to browse Mountain Patterns and learn about the rich Nuosu artistic, cultural, and ritual traditions.
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