Throughout the history of our sometimes violent and often chaotic world, humans have often been cavalier about our art treasures, whether natural or manmade. The ravages of warfare, religious biases, differences in philosophy, political arguments—all of these have contributed to the loss of irretrievable amounts of art. At its worst, all vestiges of information about the art form are gone. Some peripheral references might be found in obscure places, but we can only speculate about the extent of loss to culture and art appreciation. In a slightly better case, enough remnants remain that the world may at least know something existed at one time. Best of all such deplorable situations, however, is when some few examples are found and a viable source remains for re-initiation into the world. The latter is the case for the amazing natural art called Dali Dreamstones. However, some color palettes may no longer be available because many quarries are extensively diminished and several other quarries are being closed. Thus, Dali Dreamstones will become rarer and several types will become completely unavailable. Dali Dreamstones are unique pieces of stone, primarily marble, that are removed mainly from Cangshan Mountain in Yunnan Province, China. Although marble is certainly highly prized for utilitarian uses, Dreamstones are revered for their captivating imagery. Their extraordinary character led to their being highly valued by ancient emperors, scholars, major religious figures, intellectuals, and the Chinese people for at least three millennia. During that period of recorded history, these two-dimensional marbles were the epitome of art and were venerated for their incredible depictions of the three-dimensional world, for their colors, their beauty, and their symbolism. Yet, Dreamstones were nearly lost to the annals of history. To mitigate that loss and return Dreamstones to the recognition that they deserve, the International Dali Dreamstone Association (I.D.D.A.) was formed. Its mandate is to promote, preserve, protect, revive, educate, and advocate for this unique art form. The I.D.D.A. is a non-profit confederation of experts who came together to reintroduce Dreamstones to the Chinese people as well as to the Western world. That advocacy takes many forms.
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