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The Yi ethnic group has deep ties with ancient Shu

By Qian Yuzhi | 2013-09-02 | Hits:
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)
Bronze unearthed at the Sanxing Pile Site. The same hairstyle is still found among the Yi in contemporary time  
Among the scholarship there have been different views about the origin of the Yi people. The most recent new discovery is made by Professor Jia Yinzhong from Southwest University for Nationalities, who has published “Research of the descendants of ancient Shu’s King Yufu” referring to ancient documents, records, the archeological discoveries of the Sanxing Pile Site and Jinsha Relics. Professor Jia has also carried out field research and examined the family tree. According to the research, more than 1600 descendants of King Yufu live in the Yi region in southern Sichuan Province. Increasing attention is being paid to the relations between the ancient Shu and the Yi in history and culture, and the article by Professor Jia is the latest achievement in Yi studies.
Attention is also paid to the origin of Yi’s writing and its relation with ancient Shu’s writing. Some scholars have proposed the close relations between the two writing systems based on the research of the writing on unearthed implements of ancient Shu. Sentences in ancient Shu’s language follows the order of subject, object and predicate, and the same structure is also found in the Yi language. On a spinning wheel unearthed at the Twelve-bridge Relics of Shang Dynasty in Chengdu, two characters were found and later verified to belong to a branch of ancient Yi writing. Therefore, the origin of the Yi writing can at least date back to the Shang Dynasty (17th-11th century BC).
Qian Yuzhi is from Sichuan Association of Science and Technology.
                                            (Translated by Jiang Hong)