Thousand-Lion Mountain 11-05-2004 09:44

The Thousand-Lion Mountain is located in Jianchuan County, Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province. It is a world of stone lions true to its name.

Stone lions of different sizes can be seen on cliffs and along the pathways in this mountain area with its abundance of ancient trees as well as flowers. These carvings are perfect.

CHEN YONGFA (Stone carver of Bai ethnic group):

Originally there were no lions in China. During the Eastern Han Dynasty, Ban Chao visited the Western Regions. He found lions in other countries. After he came back to China, he described the general features of lions.

Folk artists depicted the shapes of lions according to his description. After some artistic license and change of form, a lion鈥檚 appearance turned out to be quite different.

Stone carvings in Jianchuan have a long history. With their superb skills, local stone carvers are particularly good at carving stone lions. This displays the local people鈥檚 unique understanding of and affection for lions.

The stone lions all over the Thousand-Lion Mountain are a magnificent sight. They were carved during the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.

The stone lions appear in a great variety of shapes and postures, standing, walking, sitting, reclining, staying alone or grouping together. They were carved by local craftsmen with different skills.


In the region of the Bai people, superb stone lions were carved during the Ming Dynasty. They were dynamic, deformed or in other shapes. The hair on the head was carved delicately. The stone lions on the Thousand-Lion Mountain drew on the shapes of lions on the Central Plains and those created by the Bai people. The different shapes were mixed together to form a different lion form.

The number of stone lions on the Thousand-Lion Mountain is, in fact, more than one thousand. The stone carvers in Jianchuan will inherit the craftsmanship of their predecessors and continue to write the peculiar history of stone carving. They will increase the total number of stone lions to more than 3,500.

The stone carvings on the Thousand-Lion Mountain are an integration of the sights of nature with sights of human interest and a combination of tradition with innovation. They are a monument to the superb skills utilised by the stone carvers of Jianchuan.

Editor:Xiang Jing

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