Yunnan Province is abundant in resources and its cultural resources are the most important resources. The time-honored history gives birth to the rich historical cultural resources and the many ethnical groups living together give birth to the colorful ethnical culture resources. Among the non-material cultural heritage list announced by the state for the first time, Yunnan ranks first for its 34 heritages.
In 2004, the Ministry of Culture selected Yunnan as one of the three national-level comprehensive pilot areas of non-material cultural heritage preservation.
Currently, the numbers of non-material cultural heritages of provincial level, prefecture level and county level of Yunnan Province reach 147, 3,000 and 8,000 respectively.
There are over 100,000 volumes of literatures and ancient books written in ethnical characters, over 40,000 ancient books passed down orally. Till now, over 30,000 volumes of ancient books are protected and over 600 volumes have been translated and published.
Dongba Culture, Pattra Leave Culture, Beima Culture and Bimo Culture are well-protected and inherited. The Site of Silver Shuttle and Shell in Dali, Dinosaur Fossil in Yuanmou and Ancient Dian Culture in Yuxi are excavated and studied. Many cities, towns and villages of historical and cultural significance such as Heijing Township of Lufeng County, Nagu Township in Huize, Guanglu Township in Yao’an, the County Seat of Tonghai, Zhongshan Auditorium of Fuyuan, and Shiyang Temple of Dayao, and the relics and buildings in the cities, towns and villages are well preserved and restored.
With 25 ethnical minorities, Yunnan is the “Land of Songs and Dances” and “the Sea of Dances” well-known in China. According to incomplete statistics, there are 1,095 kinds of dances and 6,718 series of dancing skills in Yunnan. There are pageant celebrations of dances every month and there are sites for dance in every village. As an indispensable part of the people’s lives, the dances, reflecting either the solemn sacrifices or the productivity and life, show various and extraordinary splendor. In the long course of development, rather firm dancing forms and characteristics appeared. According to different functions, the ethnical songs and dances of Yunnan can be divided into the three categories of sacrifice, hunting and totem worship.