Tibetan calligraphy

Home Culture 2019-04-05

Tibetan calligraphy

Tibetan calligraphy is an important part of Tibetan culture and art. In the seventh century AD, during the Zampson Zangganbu period of Tubo, minister Tunmi Sampuza absorbed the advantages of different ancient Indian scripts on the basis of the original scripts, combined with Tibetan culture, created perfect Tibetan scripts, and then eight calligraphers emerged, forming eight calligraphy systems. Calligrapher Joan Bu Yuchi scientifically regulated the calligraphy of "Uqin" and later became the most widely used font, known as "Qiongchi" (that is, the calligraphy of Joan Bu Yuchi). Later, "Qiongchi" separated the "Nichi" faction and prevailed in the Nimu area. Dege Tibetan Calligraphy is an independent style of calligraphy developed on the basis of the preservation of books. It has a history of more than 700 years. De'ang Sazhi was named after De'ang Township, Dari County, Guoluo Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province. It has been inherited for more than 200 years and has seven generations. In 2008, Tibetan law was approved by the State Council to be included in the second batch of national intangible cultural heritage list.

Brief history of calligraphy

There are two viewpoints about the age of Tibetan creation. One is that the Tibetan language was created in the seventh century AD, that is, during the Zampson Zanganganbu period of Tubo, it was created by Tunmisanbuza. Another point of view is that Tibetan originated in Xiangxiong, now Ali region, and in the period when Danbashin founded Yongzhong Benjiao, that is, Tibetan originated at least 2,000 years ago.

I. Tibetan and Calligraphic Styles in the Danbashingfu Period

According to the viewpoint that Tibetan originated in the period of Danbashin's reign around Yongzhong Benjiao, the earliest Tibetan style was called Das Bengyi. At the same time, Das Bengyi produced several other Tibetan writing styles: La Poyi, Si Yi and Mayi (Mal Tibetan). Among these kinds of calligraphy, the most widely used and popular is the Mal Tibetan language. Mar Tibetan can be divided into two types: Maqin and Maqiong.

2. Tibetan and Calligraphy in the Tubo Period

Those who hold the view that Tibetan was written in the 7th century A.D. believe that in the 7th century A.D., that is, the period of Zampson Zangganbu in Tubo, the minister Tun Misan Buza created a new Tibetan language based on the Maltese Tibetan language and referring to the ancient Indian Tudor language. This is the Tibetan language we use today. It has a history of more than 1,300 years.

Tibet's culture is ancient, long, profound and broad. It was born on the magical land of the world's roof. It has a pure plateau atmosphere, strong local characteristics and bright snow color. Its literature, philosophy, medicine, music and painting have reached a fairly high level. Behind these splendid cultures, it is inseparable from the smooth and graceful art of Tibetan calligraphy. Tibetan people have always attached great importance to the art of calligraphy and calligraphy practice. In the first few years of school, children mainly learn calligraphy and have a good command of it. In Tibet, it is generally practised with idiom boards. Only after a certain writing skill is attained on the learning board can we write on paper. Since the birth of Tibetan, there have been dozens of typefaces, such as Wujin, Yiren, Baiyi and Chieftain's body. The chieftain's body, which is fast and graceful, has been widely used as the most practical and fast style of writing. The font or calligraphy is a matter that the Tibetan people attach great importance to. After hard practice, people with good calligraphic skills can generally write six or seven types of calligraphy.

After thousands of years of deposition, there are hundreds of scriptures and essays on Tibetan calligraphy. Tibetan calligraphy has already become a magnificent treasure in the art treasure house of the motherland.

historical origin

Tibetan calligraphy has a long history. As early as 3000 years ago, Tibetan society had written, the earliest Tibetan language was called Das Benyi. On the basis of it, the founder of Yongzhong Ben Church, Dan Bashin, appeared Da Malvin and Xiao Malvin around the period, and also produced Tiancheng Wen and Si Yiwen. At that time, the art of calligraphy had already existed, and a school of art had emerged.

In the mid-seventh century, the famous Minister of Songzangganbu, the leader of the Tubo Kingdom, created the current Tibetan script in Malvine, referring to the ancient Indian Cuban Dawen, and determined the two major styles of Ujin (regular script) and Umei (line script).

During the Tubo Dynasty, eight Wujin bodies were successively produced. The Wujin body created by Tunmi Sangbuza is called toad body. Thereafter, a series of brick bodies, beads, barley bodies, Teng Lion bodies, cock bodies, fish jumpers and cockroaches appeared. Wumei Style produced two schools of Danti and Li Style. In addition, in the period of Zampchid Songzan in the 35th generation of Tubo, there appeared unique cipher style, hidden body, magic body and other scriptures specially used for writing the contents of secret religion or hidden body. There are more than 40 fonts. Nu Sanjiesi, a monk in the Songzan period of Chide, also created a new style of calligraphy.

Around the period between Qianhong and Houhong, the great calligrapher Joan Buyuchi stipulated the position, direction and length of each stroke of Wujin body according to the coordinate principle of drawing Tancheng, and named them one by one, thus realizing the standardization and unification of Wujin body. From then on to today, although there are several schools of Wujin style writing, their major patterns are not far apart.

During the period from Qianhong period to Houhong period about 100 years, Passage appeared.

Since Hou Hongqi period, Tibetan calligraphy and art has been greatly developed. With the promotion of Tibetan law, a large number of compiled and transcribed scriptures objectively promoted the improvement of Tibetan calligraphy, ink-making technology and paper-making technology. For every transcription project of most of the head scriptures, the calligraphers at that time were invited to transcribe them together. For example, in the mid-twelfth century, Ren Qing Sangbu, a great translator, invited the most famous calligraphers in Tibet to copy dozens of scriptures with indigo and compound paper, and asked that the volumes be consistent with the volumes, parts and parts of the scriptures. In the thirteenth century, Sakya Banzhida and Basiba were built into Sakyanan Temple. Inside the west wall of the temple hall, a wall of Scriptures was built, and calligraphers and transcribers from all Tibetan areas were mobilized to copy Buddhist scriptures. The wall of scriptures consisted of more than 80,000 Scriptures was built.

These transcription activities promoted the popularization and improvement of calligraphy art. Baiyi Style is a kind of Wumei Style specially used to write scriptures, and it is also a new style produced in this period. White body can be divided into oblique, non-oblique and Zhu body.

As mentioned above, the successive emergence of Qiongti, Niti and Kang District in Wujin style is also the need of stereotyped scriptures. In particular, Qiongti has become the most important and solemn style of writing Buddhist Sutras in Jin Dynasty, especially Ganzhur, 100,000 Songs and Danzhul. The calligraphy has reached the most exquisite level. During the Sakya Dynasty, the crooked-legged Zhuxie came into being. Not only was the decree issued by King Sakya written in this style, but even inscriptions on tablets were written in this style. During the period of Pozhang in Gardan, the decrees were written in the long-legged Zhuxie style. By the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, Juanxiu's short-legged Zhuxie style became the style of Tibetan local government decrees. Tong Ti, Ren Ti, Kuma Chieftain, Chieftain Ti, Chieftain Chin and so on are the calligraphy styles appearing in Hou Hong Period. The homozygotes and chieftain bodies can be divided into male, larval and nihil bodies, as well as Iti bodies.

The chieftain's body and chieftain's body (Dacao) which were written quickly and gracefully and fluently were a great achievement of calligraphy art in the later Hongji period, especially in the last century and this century. Chieftain and Chieftain have become the most practical and fastest writing style, which is widely used. A notable example of the prosperity of the art of calligraphy in Hou Hongshi is the emergence of various calligraphers. Juoluo Style, Qiaruo Style, Guiluo Style, Dodan Style, Yangdan Style, Renbu Style, Fantastic Style, Basiba Style and so on are all innovative new Tibetan calligraphy styles created by great translators, scholars or calligraphers in successive dynasties since the later Hongshi Period.

Since the emergence of Tibetan, there have been a total of the above scripts. Among them, there are Wujin, Yiren, Yitong, Zhu Xie, Baidu and the chieftain body. Especially the chieftain body is most widely used.

Tibetans have always attached great importance to the art of calligraphy and calligraphy practice. In the first few years of school, children mainly learn calligraphy and have a good command of it. The beginning of character learning begins with benevolence. And in Tibet, it is generally used to practice with idiom boards. When the learning board achieves certain writing skills, it is allowed to learn on paper. Generally, people with good calligraphy skills can write six or seven types of calligraphy, the purpose of which is to be able to write different types of calligraphy according to the situation. As the face of literati, people attach great importance to the art of writing. In the old times, scholars sent letters to others, mostly with the intention of displaying their own calligraphic skills.

According to the traditional subject classification, calligraphy belongs to a small branch of Dawuming's Gongqiaoming. Gongqiaoming is a very large subject, covering almost all fields of natural science. Of course, medical science and calendar are not included. The manufacture of paper and the grinding and preparation of various ink are also included in Gongqiaoming. Therefore, the Tibetan scholars who are proficient in the ten MeiMing Dynasties will naturally study calligraphy as a foundation of learning and elaborate it in their respective works or monographs, which must involve paper-making technology.

Font features

The structure of Tibetan characters is characterized by taking the base character as the center, five prefixes must be written in front, ten postscripts written in back, three superscripts written on top, four underscripts written on the bottom, and two postscripts written on the back of postscripts. The order of writing is progressively based on the order of pre-addition, post-addition and post-addition of the base words. The pronunciation of Tibetan is different in Tibetan, Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan, but the writing forms are unified in different places. As far as its style is concerned, it can be divided into regular script and cursive script. Regular scripts require appropriate weight, speed and flexibility, so that the body shows both rigorous and luxuriant, but also dull. The cursive scripts can be divided into several categories: beginner style (Gaka in Tibetan), dance walking style (stacking and sifting in Tibetan), long-footed style, short-footed style, semi-cursive style and grass style. In fact, the former categories can also be listed as line books.

Like the learning procedure of Chinese character calligraphy, the beginners of Tibetan calligraphy begin with regular scripts. Nine of the thirty letters in Tibetan belong to the "long foot type" (i.e. the lower stroke extends longer). If a line is divided into three parts, the "long foot" must be written to the lower edge, while the other non- "long foot" letters are in the upper and middle part of the line respectively. If the width of a letter is included in the vertical trisection equal to the horizontal trisection, it is like putting a letter into a small "Nine Palaces". Each part of the letter stroke in the "Nine Palaces" has its own name, or "eye", "shoulder", "abdomen", "foot". It has its own characteristics. In Tibetan calligraphy, regular scripts are of the "headed" type, with emphasis on the solemnity and rigor of the font. The step of learning regular script is to write 30 letters steadily first, then practice writing five inverse letters and four vowel symbols, and finally learn to add words up and down before and after writing. Such gradual progress, until every word, line and even the whole text are written in a rigorous structure, neat and skilled, can be considered to meet the requirements of regular script writing. Only after having a certain foundation of regular scripts can we learn to write cursive scripts.

The requirements of Tibetan cursive script are more complicated. Pay attention to the charm of each book recipe works throughout the pursuit of momentum flow, ups and downs. The "long foot" of each letter and the "rut" corresponding to the sound-proof symbol must be directly visible to the tune, so that the "tune is like a half-arc". _ Neighbouring letters and syllables should be coherent and dense, showing neither relaxation nor compactness. For vowel letters and superscript letters, it is required that those who are above and below each line should not be suspended, and that those who are below each line should not be aware of the need for a sense of unity. On the surface, Tibetan is much simpler than Chinese in phonetic alphabet, but it is not easy to climb the peak of its calligraphy art. It takes perseverance to make progress in study day and night.

Tibetan writing posture is different from Chinese. Generally speaking, Chinese writing requires sitting upright, landing on both feet, paving the table on paper and elbowing. Tibetan writing is sitting cross-legged, paper folded between the left index finger and the little finger, with the palm on the knee and straight to the left breast, the right hand holding pen, requesting that the thumb and index finger clamp the position about an inch away from the tip of the pen, holding pen should be tightened moderately, the middle finger should be properly stretched below, the palm should leave space to accommodate a pigeon egg (which is similar to the way of writing in Chinese characters) .

Tool materials

The Danjul Sutra, Gongqiao Department, specifically records that the tools for writing Tibetan are bamboo pens, which are divided into round bamboo pens and three-edged bamboo pens for the convenience of writing different fonts. It is a kind of arrow bamboo grown on the plateau. It is made of round bamboo pen which is air-dried and cut. The three-edged pen needs to be cut when smoking is soft. The ink is obtained by calcining and cooling the plateau willow branches into a silver carbon pen cartridge. Since the Tibetan Tangka paints were made skillfully later, the paints written in Tibetan have developed from single ink to gold, silver, cinnabar, Turquoise and other paints. The most distinctive feature is that the eight treasure inks written in Tibetan are made of gold, silver, pearls, coral, conch, mangrove juice, cinnabar, Turquoise and ground, which makes Tibetan calligraphy of high collection value.

Tibetan is written with a hard pen or bamboo pen. Bamboo pens are divided into round bamboo pens and three-edged bamboo pens. No matter which one is made of tough bamboo, it is cut after air-drying. Especially bamboo used for making three shuttles of bamboo pens needs cooking and smoking. In Tibetan Danzhul Jing Gongqiao Department, there are volumes specializing in making pens, ink, paper and knives, as well as monographs dealing with four treasures separately. In these works, the material selection, production or grinding of pens and inks, and technological requirements are discussed in detail. Firstly, in terms of the types of ink, black, red, blue, yellow, white, grey, brown, etc., and in terms of raw materials, carbon, gold, silver, coral, pearls and other eight and mercury ores are discussed.

The characteristics of bamboo pen writing in Tibetan require beginners to practice writing with idiomatic writing board for a long time in order to lay a good foundation for writing. Because the surface of the board is rough, if you practice it well, you can lay a writing foundation. The direction of writing is from left to right. The writing format is strictly stipulated. Take the ruler calf as an example, the context and parallel lines. There are differences in the style of writing and writing between the elders, the peers and the younger generation. What style of writing should be used under what circumstances, even the folding and sealing of official documents and letters, etc.

Calligraphy characteristics

1. Bamboo pen writing in Tibetan, also known as hard-pen calligraphy. Require beginners in the learning board, from left to right, ruler as a column, parallel lines, like a straight line string of rows of Tibetan, neat and rigorous;

2. The structure of Tibetan characters is characterized by taking the base character as the center. Five prefixes must be written in front, ten postscripts in back and three superscripts in top.

3. The pronunciation of Tibetan is based on the pronunciation of Dege in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Although there are differences in the vast Tibetan inhabited areas, the writing forms are uniform everywhere.

4. The posture of Tibetan script writing is different from other calligraphy. Tibetan script writing is generally sitting cross-legged, with the left index finger and the small finger paper on the knee, and straight to the heart; the right hand holds the pen, the thumb and index finger hold the position about an inch from the tip of the pen, and the empty hand writing in the palm is more than enough.

5. Papers used in Tibetan calligraphy are all natural raw materials, mostly Tibetan paper made from Stellera chamaejasme roots; especially Tibetan paper from Dege Printing School is the most authoritative.

representative figure

Cha Bazhi (1925-2009) Goluo Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province

Representational successors of the third batch of national intangible cultural heritage projects in 2009

Sangdajie (1972 -) Goluo Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Qinghai Province

Representative successors of the fourth batch of national intangible cultural heritage projects in 2012

Gama Chilie (1953 -) Lhasa City, Tibet Autonomous Region

Representational successors of intangible cultural heritage projects in Tibet Autonomous Region

Calligraphy masters


Tunmi Sangbuza: The founding elder of Tibetan. More than 1300 years ago, Tunmi Sangbuza wrote the praises of the Tibetan king Song Zan Ganbu on the stone wall of Zeng Korando Temple in the eastern part of Luoluo (Lhasa). It was vivid and even, like a frog jumping on the stone wall. Later generations called his font toad body.

Nu Sanjaisi: Nu Sanjaisi, a great monk in the Songzan period of Chide, also created a new style of writing. It looks like a thriving barley, later called a tree.

Ang Renqing VIII: In the Mangsong Mangzan period (650 - 676 A.D.), the calligrapher Ang Renqing VIII was known as "like bricks juxtaposed" and later generations as "bricks".

Qiaoga Puze: Dusong Mangzan period (676-704 A.D.), his character is like cock Ming Xiao, later known as cock body.

Zangmo of the Association: In the period of Chisong Dezan (A.D. 754-797), the characters written by the association were pearls strung together, which later came to be called pearls strung;

Zewa Yundeng: In the Munizan period (797-804 A.D.), the characters were written like fish swimming paper, which later generations called Yuyue Tie; (Er Xue Lama: Chizu Dezan period (815-841 A.D.), the male lion body was written;

Zhuo Neiji: He lived in Qinghai Tibetan area at the end of the tenth century AD. He studied Tibetan scriptures and inscriptions, improved the writing style of Tibetan scripts, and created "Sino-New Style".

Sa'antan Zeng: From the end of the eighteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth century, Sa'antan Zeng, a De'ang monk, created the De'ansa Zhi font.

Ari Banze: A famous German scholar in the twentieth century AD, created the Kang District Style in the process of writing and engraving script boards.

Luoqu: A famous university scholar of Dege in the 20th century A.D., Kanbu Temple of Babang. Two types of fonts were created, Joan and Niti.


Ga Song Duoji: His characters in Wumei style and chieftain style as well as Tibetan seal books have a great influence in Tibetan area. He is the inheritor of Tangka Painting School of Karma Gazi. On the basis of Tangka Painting, he created the binding of Tibetan calligraphy of Karma School, which makes the binding of Tibetan calligraphy and mounting perfect. Kangba area, Yunnan area and Aba area all adopt his binding technique. In 1996, he won the first prize of the art group in the International Tibetan Calligraphy Competition. His writing is gentle and elegant, and is very popular with people.

Duo Zhi: His characters have great influence in Tibetan area with Ujin and Chieftain. The book "The Key to Learning Abbreviations of Tibetan Tie Collection" has become a calligraphy textbook for Qinghai Famous Nationality College, Southwest Famous Nationality College, Qinghai Education College, Sichuan Tibetan Literature School, Ganzi Prefecture and some primary and secondary schools in Aba Prefecture.

Gega: The famous Great Rinpoche and Tibetan medicine in Kangba area. His characters have great influence in Tibetan area with the same style and Latin style, as well as Sanskrit. In the area of Dege Zhuqin, he advocated charity and truth, goodness and beauty in calligraphy and writing. He won the second prize in the 2009 International Calligraphy Competition and was very popular.

Bazhi: From the end of the eighteenth century to the beginning of the nineteenth century, Saandan, a monk of De'ang, created De'ang Sazhi font. Since 200 years ago, there have been seven generations of inheritance, and Bazhi is the seventh generation of inheritance.

Jiu Meisheng is good at "Qomolangma Cluster Style" in 2011. At the invitation of Beijing Tibetology Center, he participated in the Tibetan Style Development Research Group of the Tibetan Research Center "Qomolangma" and wrote the Qomolangma Cluster Style.

Rabbah Cairang: Secretary-General of the Calligrapher Association of the Tibet Autonomous Region, who is proficient in Wujin, Wumei, Sanskrit and Grass, has a wide influence in Tibet.

Mina: Kangba is famous for his great Rinpoche. His characters are good at Niti and Iti and Sanskrit. Because of the wide range of calligraphy works, Sanshu Norin Library was built as a research and collection center of Tibetan calligraphy. In 1992, he won the second prize of Fine Arts in the International Tibetan Calligraphy Competition.

Ji Qiongpei: He has won many calligraphy awards from state to province after years of hard study. In addition to continually inheriting and accepting the knowledge and skills of traditional calligraphy, we have also studied and collected ancient and modern Tibetan calligraphy, and made breakthroughs and innovations. Among his works,'Daquan of Tibetan Calligraphy'and'Thirty-letter Pictograph' are exhibited in many cities in the form of Thangka. Writing and editing the book "Treasury of Tibetan Calligraphy".

Zeren Onga: Professor, Southwest University of Famous Nationalities, proficient in Tibetan and Sanskrit. He is the author of "Tibetan Character Tie", "The Use of Positive and Positive Phrases in Tibetan Grammar", "On the Use of Positive and Positive Phrases in the Practice of Tibetan Language and Literature", "Some Thoughts on the Art of Tibetan Calligraphy".

Badi: His characters have a great influence in Tibetan areas with Ujin and Chieftain styles. He is a professor of Tibetan School in Sichuan Province. The "Tibetan Wujin Style" has almost become a prototype of the whole Tibetan region, and won the first prize of Tibetan calligraphy and law in September 1989.

Danzhu Zeren: He is good at beautiful style. He created more than 100 pieces of Tibetan calligraphy works. In September 1989, he won the National Excellent Prize of Tibetan Calligraphy in Tibet. In the Spring Festival of 1949, he held a personal exhibition of Tibetan Calligraphy in Kangding, Ganzi Prefecture. Because of the strong stereo and graphic sense of fonts, modern television and network names are widely used.

Inheritance significance

We should combine the inheritance and protection of intangible cultural heritage with people's daily production and life, develop industry and promote employment, adhere to the path of productive protection and participatory protection, strengthen the concept of intangible cultural heritage protection in the process of arousing people's participation and experience, popularize the knowledge of intangible cultural heritage protection, and further enhance the awareness and ability of the whole society to protect intangible cultural heritage. Relevant departments should increase their support for intangible cultural heritage with high inheritance value, good market prospects and strong ability to promote prosperity, actively promote and apply the successful experience of modern science and technology in displaying, protecting and inheriting cultural heritage, and further do a good job in the propaganda of non-heritage skills and inheritors .