In the 1920s Joseph Rock, an Austrian-born botanist went to live in Lijiang, in Yunnan province. During expeditions over the next three decades he photographed shamans, trulku, petty kings, nomads, astounding scenery and flora and fauna across much of southwest China. He also studied the language and culture of the Nakhi people previouslywhose homeleand centred around Lijiang. A contemporary blogger is now posting some then-and-now images of the places and people Rock recorded.
The script of the Naxi (or Nakhi) people of China's Yunnan province is the only extant pictographic language. The Naxi script, known as Dongba, has traditionally been the domain of spiritual leaders, and despite preservation efforts, is in danger of extinction.