Southwest China Institute of Nuo Culture was founded in February 1992, whose predecessor was Center of Nuo Culture, Guizhou Institute for Nationalities. On May 23, 2003 the university decided to change its name to Southwest China Center of Nuo Culture. In 2006, it was changed to Southwest China Institute of Nuo Culture. In January 2010 the institute was appointed as a division-level agency of research by the university. It has a full-time and part-time staff of over 10 researchers at present; also, some prestigious domestic and international experts serve as consultants or guest researchers. Professor Tuo Xiuming once acted as Director; Professor Chen Yuping is the incumbent director, Associate Professor Gong Dequan is Director of Office, and Dr. Wu Dianlei and Dr. Zhou Yongjian are full-time researchers.
As a research agency devoted to Nuo culture, the institute has based its studies on indigenous cultural resources since its founding, and thus attention is mainly paid to Southwest China Nuo culture, complemented by foreign and other provinces’ Nuo cultures. With over 2 decades’ development, the institute has become a brand and a window for international cultural and academic exchange of Guizhou Minzu University.
The institute has made some high-level academic achievements, exerting considerable impact in academic circles at home and abroad. A number of research products have been granted awards of philosophy and social sciences in Guizhou. Besides, the researchers once hosted or participated in multiple international and domestic projects, including projects sponsored by Japan’s Ministry of Education, America’s National Science Funds, Chinese Taiwan’s Chiang Ching-kuo International Academic Exchange Funds, National Social Sciences Funds, Ministry of Education’s Humanities and Social Sciences, Provincial Governor’s Funds, Provincial Department of Education, and Provincial Department of Culture.
The institute has kept close ties with international as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan’s universities and research agencies. For many times the researchers visited, made lectures or attended international academic symposiums in Japan’s Waseda University, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University, National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan, and Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. From September 23 to October 4, 2010, Professor Chen Yuping, at the invitation of “International Mask Festival” Organizing Committee in Antung City, South Korea, made a trip there together with “Delegation of China’s Minority People’s Arts” for successful academic exchange with international experts.
The institute attaches importance to cooperation with key universities in other provinces. In December 2006 it signed an agreement with Institute of China’s Intangible Cultural Heritage affiliated to Sun Yat-sen University, and the former becomes “Work Station in Guizhou for Institute of China’s Intangible Cultural Heritage—Key Research Base of Humanities and Social Sciences of Ministry of Education”. In December 2009 the two institutes jointly applied to Ministry of Education for a key project—“Southwest China Nuo Texts: Surveys and Classifications”, which was approved; concrete cooperation has thus come into being.
The institute hosted a number of international and domestic academic symposiums on Nuo culture, including “Symposium on China’s Mountain Fanjing’s Nuo Culture in 2003”, “Symposium on the Protection and Development of Guizhou’s Nuo Culture in 2007”, “Symposium on Yang Opera in Fuquan, Guizhou in 2008”, and “International Symposium on North Guizhou’s Nuo Culture in Zunyi in 2009”. These symposiums have exerted considerable impact at home and abroad, and have facilitated the research on Nuo culture in Guizhou and even throughout China.
The institute lays emphasis on research bases so that the local Nuo cultural resources can be tapped, inherited, protected and developed. So far it gas established 13 research bases in Guizhou, namely, Nuo Culture Museum in Tongren City, Dejiang County Base, Yinjiang County Base, Daozhen County Base, Pingba County’s Tianlong Tunpu Base, Zhouguan Village Base of Liuguan Township, Xixiu District of Anshun City, Fuquan City Base, Cengong County Base, Huaxi District Base, Maguan Base of Puding County, Libo County Base, Meitan County Base, and Xifeng County Base. The cooperation is close and concrete, laying a solid foundation for the protection and development of local Nuo culture as well as academic cooperation between universities and local government’s ethnic and cultural affairs administration agencies.
In the new age the institute aims at improving its staff’s research qualities in theory and practice under the leadership of the university. It will continue to strengthen cooperation with universities and research agencies in other provinces and countries. The staff will face more competitions in employment, research and achievements. It is hoped that the reform will contribute to the development of China’s Nuo studies.