古时大理国于公元937年由段思平灭南诏建国。都城羊苴咩城,今云南大理太和村,国号大理,其尊崇佛教,又称妙香国。1096年高升泰在死后归政于段正淳,史称后理国。1253年,大蒙古国忽必烈“革囊渡江”征云南,灭大理国,后建云南等处行中书省,原大理国王段氏被任为大理世袭总管。

In ancient times, the Country of Dali was founded by Siping Duan in 937 A.D. and the reign of the Dali Dynasty started after he conquered the prior dynasty Nanzhao, whose capital was the city of Yanqiemie, now called Taihe Village in the City of Dali in Yunnan Province. Dali was also called “the Country of Wonderful Fragrance” due to its respect for Buddhism. In 1906, Zhengchun Duan took over the reign after Shentai Gao’s death, and started ruling the country which was later called the Latter Dali by historians. In 1253, the Mongolian King Kublai Khan marched across the Jin Sha River and conquered Dali as well as other small countries in Yunnan. Kublai Khan claimed Dali as part of Mongolian territories, and set up administrative districts in the region of Yunnan. The former rulers, the Duan’s , were appointed as the hereditary General Executives of Dali district.

白族自称“白和”。是中国西南边疆一个具有悠久历史和文化的少数民族,历史上是大理国人的后裔。记载起于隋朝,史书上称为“白人”,明代以后称为“民家”。历史上白族曾经是云南最大的民族。唐宋元时期云南历史上一度曾经出现过“白族化”过程。

As the descendants of people from ancient Dali, Bai people calls themselves “Bai He” who can be tracked back to an ethnic minority group with a long history and a distinct culture on the southwest border of China. The earliest record of Bai people appeared in the Sui Dynasty, in which the written historical documents called them “Bai Ren”. But later since the Ming Dynasty, they were known as “Min Jia (ordinary people)” in official records. In history, Bai people was once the largest ethnic group in Yunnan. There were times during the Tang, Song, Yuan Dynasties when Bai people became the dominant group in the region of Yunnan.

鸡足山是佛教禅宗的发源地,鸡足山历代高僧辈出。鸡足山千百年的历史积淀了无穷的文化内涵,明神宗颁藏经到山,赐紫衣圆顶;鸡足山素以雄、险、奇、秀、幽著称,以“天开佛国”、“灵山佛都”闻名,徐霞客胜赞“器观尽收今古胜”,“实首海内矣!”,徐悲鸿曾赋诗“灵鹫一片荒凉土,岂比苍苍鸡足山”。

Mount Jizu is the birthplace for Zen Buddhism and has cultivated generations of renowned monks who enjoyed high achievements in Buddhism. Throughout its hundreds and thousands of history, Mount Jizu has witnessed countless historical and cultural events. The Wanli Emperor had honored the mountain to house the most precious Buddhist scriptures as well as awarding the purple cassock that symbolizes dignity and loftiness to the famous monks. Apart from being dubbed as the “Soul Mountain of the City of Buddhism”, Mount Jizu has also earned itself a name for its significant mountaintop views, steep hills, diverse landscapes and magnificent sceneries. The most famous traveller in ancient Chinese history, Xiake Xu, had highly praised the Mountain by remarking that Mount Jizu has included all the grand views that could be found at home and abroad throughout the history and that Mount Jizu really deserves the reputation of toping other mountains in China. Beihong Xu, the famous Chinese artist, had composed a poem on Mount Jizu, "Mount Linjiu in Sichuan Province is famous for its natural scenes, but it becomes a barren land when compared to the lavish Mount Jizu”.

本主崇拜是一种多神崇拜,各地或各个村寨本主庙内都塑有自己的本主神。也有的几个村寨甚至几十个村寨共同信奉一个本主。本主司管的对象也各有不同,有主司“阴间”和人间大小事务的,有主司“阴间”兵马的,有主司人间疾病的,有主司牲畜的,形式多样。 白族人意识中认定的本主即为村社保护神,是掌管本地区、本村寨居民的生死祸福之神。认为本主能保国护民,保佑人们平安吉祥、风调雨顺、五谷丰登、六畜兴旺。白族村寨几乎都建有本主庙。庙内供奉泥塑或木雕的本主神像。据1990年统计,大理白族自治州境内共有本主庙986座。

The master god worship is a kind of multi- god worship, different regions and villages have sculptures of their own master gods. As well, several or even several dozens of villages jointly believe in one master god. The responsibilities of master gods are different, respetively for the business of "underworld" and mortal world, the military underworld, human diseases, livestock, etc in various forms. The master god recognized in awareness of Bai people is patron saint of village community in charge of fortunes of life and death of local regions or villages, capable to protect country and people, bless people safe and good luck, good weather for the crops, good harvests, and domestic animals are all thriving. Almost all villages of Bai people are built up with master god temples dedicating to clay sculptures or woodcarving of master gods. According to statistics in 1990, there are total 986 master god temples in Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture.