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Li Bai and Qiang Culture

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image of Frontiers of Literary Studies in China

Previous studies have attempted to unveil the mystery of Li Bai from various perspectives. This paper tries to reveal Li Bai’s uniqueness by considering his family roots and his immersion in Qiang culture in his early childhood. The fact that Li Bai uses the word bai 白 (white) frequently in his poems and that he often thinks of the legend of Ge You, goat rider, demonstrate that he is deeply influenced by the Qiang people and their culture. The reason why he longed day and night to visit the immortals in the grottos of the mountains in Yue is also related to Qiang culture. Taoism was derived from the funeral customs of the Qiang people, and hence the depictions about Chisongzi who rose up to heaven in purple haze in Li Bai’s poems show how immense the influence of the regional culture of Shu and Qiang culture on Li Bai was. In addition, the music he enjoyed and the dance he performed are also closely associated with those of Qiang people.


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