Research Article

Research on Dunhuang Burial Practices: “One and Diverse”: Dunhuang Murals in Gansu as an Example


  • Mengling Bi School of History and Culture, Hanshan Normal University, Guangdong 521021, China


As an important junction on the ancient Silk Road in China, Dunhuang's historical remains reflect the social order, social life, and social values of that time. To study the funeral customs and concepts in ancient Dunhuang, this paper analyzed the funeral customs by examining Dunhuang murals and a substantial amount of literature searching related essays online. In particular, the text compares and relates the funeral practices of ethnic minorities and the Han Chinese. It is found that the evolution of funeral customs in Dunhuang reflects the characteristics of the concept of all-in-one pluralism, representing a unified approach to diversity and inclusion. In this region of Dunhuang, the funeral customs observed include not only those derived from Taoism and Confucianism, which were the dominant religious traditions among the Han Chinese, but also those derived from Zoroastrianism, which was practiced by the ethnic minorities, as well as from exotic forms of Buddhism. This means that different regions and religions constantly fused and were absorbed into one another in Dunhuang, eventually becoming part of the excellent traditional Chinese culture. This demonstrates that different cultures can exist within a given practice, not only without mutual exclusion but also by displaying different characteristics.

Article information


Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies

Volume (Issue)

6 (5)





How to Cite

Bi, M. (2024). Research on Dunhuang Burial Practices: “One and Diverse”: Dunhuang Murals in Gansu as an Example. Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Studies, 6(5), 25–35.



Dunhuang mural paintings, funeral customs, unity and diversity in funeral customs