He Zhiben – Skillful Craftsman of Naxi Handmade Paper in Shangri-la, Diqing
He Zhiben(和志本), Naxi ethnic minority, born in 1928, is a native of Baidi village(白地村) of Gudu Nature village(古都自然村), Sanba township(三坝乡), Shangri-la(香格里拉市), Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture(迪庆藏族自治州), who is the inheritor of Naxi handmade paper-making.
Under the guidance of his uncle Ke Heng(柯恒), He Zhiben studied Dongba classics and paper making and learned to paint divine discription, road map of god and wooden card painting when he was 12 years old. He is the sixth successor of Dongba culture in his family. In 1983, he was invited to attend the Lijiang Dongba Culture Symposium(丽江东巴文化座谈会), and decided to pick up his pen and tools of making paper again.
Under the guidance of his uncle Ke Heng, He Zhiben studied Dongba classics and paper making and learned to paint divine discription(神画), road map of god（神路图） and wooden card painting（木牌画） when he was 12 years old. He is the sixth successor of Dongba culture in his family. He Zhiben is versatile and proficient in classics. He is also good at calligraphy and painting, ritual, shaping, carving and divination. His “divine discription”, “road map of god ” and “wooden card painting” are praised by experts and scholars. This kind of expression, which reflects the wisdom of the Naxi ancestors, has deeply attracted scholars at home and abroad. Many of his works are collected by Japanese, American, Italian, French, Thailand, British, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan friends.
With 60 years of practical experience in papermaking, He Zhiben is recognized as the inheritor of Dongba classics, papermaking, road map of god and wooden painting. In 2002, he was named as “senior folk artist” by Yunnan Provincial Culture Department(云南省文化厅) and Yunnan Provincial Ethnic Affairs Committee(云南省民族事务委员会). In recent years, he has also been employed as a teacher of Shengling Dongba Culture School with 12 apprentices.