The glistening white stone symbolizes god if Qiang Ethnic Group

In the Qiang’s religious belief in the past, natural worship was much outstanding, and the Qiangs believed in “animism”. Until now, some belief is still left over in the local people, and they regard white stone and fir tree as symbols of all gods. The white stone is a kind of white quartz. The early morning of the 3rd in the lunar January every year is the time for every family to spend the worshipping white stone festival at the same time. Offerings like wine and steamed bun are presented before the spirit tablet of the white stone on every family’s roof, and cypress boughs are fired to worship gods.

When the darkness is disappearing, fragrant smoke is misty and dim in the village which seems like heaven and earth are combined into one and gives people a secret feeling that the gods and human beings are communicating. White stone symbolizes mountain god, sheep god, stone god, ox god and valuables in Qiangs’ mind, or white stone statue is taken as target for offering sacrifice. The fold adage goes like this: “White stones are put on the path and black stones are put near the path”, which illustrates that they divide black and white clearly and white stone has high opposition in their mind.

White stands for justice and being reasonable and black stands for being evil and bad-disciplined. The purpose of setting up white stone spiritual tablet on roof is to press evil with correctness and protect safety of the family members. The folk legend about the origin of worshipping white stone is that: in the grand migration of the ancient Qiangs, they came to the upper reaches of the Minjiang River where they live now, and was invaded by “Gejis”. Inspired by god, the leader of the Qiangs used white stones and hard sticks as weapons and defeated the enemies. The Qiangs felt thankful to gods, but they didn’t know the image of gods, so they regarded white stone as substitution and have worshipped and offered sacrifice to it for generations.

Analyzing with scientific attitude, we can regard it as cherishing and respect to their ancestors. Because the ancestors created stone artifacts and primitive farming tools and weapons were composed of stone combined with hard stick which played a very important role in their ancestors’ life. Stone was deeply respected by primitive human beings because of its solidness and firmness, which was universal in ancient China.

Nuwa(a goddess in legend) patched the holes in the sky with colorful stones, Jingwei(name of a mythical bird in legend) tried to fill up the sea with pebbles, there is legend about the stone in Mount Tai which can resist evil, and there is Giant Stone Worship in many places in the south, all of which are evidence. The Qiangs build house with stone, build weir with stone and they are famous for the stonemasons who make a living with their consummate skills. So it is not surprising that they respect and worship white stone.