Intangible Cultural Heritage Museum-The Shui Script

Intangible Cultural Heritage Museum

The Shui Script

by Live in Guizhou


Image Source: Eyesnews

The Shui script (Shuishu) is a unique and surviving primitive script created by the ancestors of the Shui people, encompassing a large collection of sorcery books written in this script.

The Shui script is closely connected with the beliefs, customs, and daily life of the Shui people. It is primarily used to record cultural information related to Shui astronomy, geography, religion, folklore, ethics, and philosophy.

In the social life of the Shui community, the Shui script plays an important role. For example, decisions regarding marriages and funerals are still calculated according to the “Shui calendar” recorded in the Shui script. Additionally, Shui script masters are invited to preside over exorcism activities in Shui folklore. These rituals follow the guidelines and principles of the Shui script, but many incantations and sacrificial ceremonies rely on the oral transmission and teachings of the Shui script masters.

In 2006, the Shui script was listed as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage. In 2022, at the ninth plenary session of the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme Regional Committee for Asia and the Pacific, the “Shui Manuscripts of Guizhou Province, China,” recommended by the National Archives Administration, was successfully inscribed on the “Memory of the World Asia-Pacific Register”.