1. The existing formal structures of Epic "Gesar"
(1) The structure of oral form: This form of epic Gesar is a product of the folk artists and handed down orally by the old artists from generation to generation. It is the basic form of other artistic forms. As a rule, the on-spot demonstration is permeated with an exciting atmosphere, which will arouse the memory and inspiration of the artists. During their performance, they would usually drink wine, so as to stimulate their nerve for high concentration, and make their talking and singing a great success. The record of the artistic performance will be made on tape or vedio tape, which is precious historical material.
(2) The structure of written form: This form of Epic Gesar is developed and transformed from the oral one. Being not so restricted by time and space, it is convenient for keeping and suitable for disseminating in areas of different languages.Besides, it is possible to assimilate the cultural heritage of other nations, bringing about works of better quality. Among the people, there are a great deal of books in manuscript or in woodcut (the great majority of them were hurled up during the ten years of the "Cultural Revolution". ) The books in stereotype have been published 61 sections, mostly done after 1981.
(3) The structure of Tangka (rolled Paintings) and other painting form: At first, it was a stage property, but later, it was absorbed into the works of the painters as a subject matter. The eleven rolls of Tangka Gesar, now stored in Sichuan Museum, have depicted the great events of Gesar in his life.
(4) The structure of sculpture form: Among the people in tibetan areas,there are a great deal of the images of King Gesar and his generals, which are made of wood carving, stone carving, clay figurine, copper figurine and silver figurine. They are not for appreciation, but for enshrine and worship.
(5) The structure of drama form.
(6) The structure of the form in picture-story-book and children""s book.
(7) The structure of the form in TV films.
We do not list some musical component parts (as in ballad Gesar) as a formal structure. So far, there isn""t any complete and independent musical form of Epic Gesar. Of course, we should not ignore the important part played by music in deepening the understanding of the Epic and disseminating it as an entertainment.
Epic Gesar is not only the first fruit growing out of the mythology of the ancient primitive people in Qinghai-Tibet high lands, but also a garden full of artistic flowers for the later generations.
2. The existing content structures of Epic "Gesar"
As having practical effect, the Epic has been passed on to the present.This is due to the comparatively stable content structures of region, ethnicity and history, which have played a principal part in its dissemination.
(1) The structure of regional content: The regions where the heroes of the Epic were living and operating are still recognized. Because of the harsh natural environment, the scene of the epic story seems solemn and grave, a somewhat depressive atmosphere. Therefore, the "ill" feeling in life is more vivid than the "good" one of the story. It is different from the sentiment of the Greek epics, but similar to that of the North-European ones. In the epic, there are not a few Gods of mountain, water, animal and tree, which are transformation of evils. They reflect the struggle of the Tibetan people with nature which is hard to tame, containing the seeds of scientific thinking. The use of Gods to explain natural phenomena, even today, still has its popular foundation and an effect of disseminating.
(2) The structure of ethnic content: It mainly reflects the merging of the economies, cultures and tribes at the primary stage of the formation of an ethnic nation. It reveals the national spirit, which has been shaped by a comprehensive effect of physique, natural environment and accumulated culture, Physique and natural environment are factors comparatively stable, while the accumulated culture is a comparatively changeable factor. Some of the cultural elements have become stable historical traditions, the others, as the changing of the time and the merging of the ethnic nation, have gradually become faint, dim and disappeared.As a result of the long epic stage and the merging of a variety of ethnic cultures, Epic "Gesar" has many different languages. Therefore, its effect of aggregating knowledge will be getting declined, instead, its effect of literary appreciation and entertainment will increase.
(3) The structure of historical content: It is a phenomenon of the historicizing of mythology, recorded vividly the events occurred in history: mainly wars between Buddhisn and Bon and among tribes and kingdoms. The tendency " depreciating Bon while praising Buddhism" in the Epic has reflected the result of the actual conflict. The conquest by King Gesar with numerous victories in his life is a projection of the history of war during the Tibetan Regime in ancient China. The victorious causes of the ancestors are usually talked about with delight by their descendants. It is the spiritual propholding the whole of the nation, but also has psychological mechanism for wider disseminating of the Epic.
3. The relation between the structure of the Epic and its dissemination
The structure of the form and content of the Epic is the expression of a specific culture. Therefore, the dissemination of the Epic cannot depart from the general law of the dissemination of the culture. When two cultures are converging, neither complete exclusion nor complete merging is actually possible.The Epics in mongolian, in Tugie language and in Pumi language are all different somewhat in form and content to Tibetan "Gesar". At the present stage, the talking and singing performance of the artists is the chief disseminating form,which is the basis of the other disseminating forms. However, the artistic workmanship of their talking and singing is decided by the cultural pattern of the nation and the experience, knowledge and psychological state of the artists. An outstanding artist should epuip himself with five requirements.
4. Concluding remarks
The structure of the form and content of the Epic is a phenomenon of the culture, which is multiplicate as well as complicate. So is the case with the effect and mechanism of its dissemination. Epic "Gesar" has been widely disseminated and has a long history which has never declined. This is by no means a result achieved by a single effect and mechanism. This is fundamentally because "Gesar" is a great work produced by the Tibetan people as a whole, and its development and succeeding is a contribution by their joint efforts. The Epic artists from generation to generation simply have pooled the wisdom of the Tibetan people, and made some special contribution to its development and succeeding. It is the cultural pattern of the nation and the individual choice of the cultural interest of the artists that is the hotbed breeding generations of talented artists.
 Institute of Ethic Mlinorities Literature, CASS