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Intangible Cultural Heritages in Yunnan

Intangible Cultural Heritages in Yunnan

Story of Ashima

The story of Ashima belongs to the Sani people, who are spread throughout the Yi Autonomous County in Shilin, Yunnan Province, and form part of the Yi ethnic group. People recite or sing the story of Ashima, which is an epic poem rich in romance and allegorical language. The tale of Ashima’s courage and fortitude while resisting a power greater than her own reflects timeless human aspirations, that darkness will be replaced by light, evil by virtue and oppression and bondage will be replaced by freedom. It also reflects the Sani character and spirit in that they prefer to die rather than surrender. More

Guozhuang Dance

Guozhuang Dance, also known as “Guozhuo”, “Gezhuang’ or “Zhuo”, means “singing and dancing in a circle” in the Tibetan languages. It is one of the three major Tibetan folk dances from ethnic Tibetan areas such as Qamdo and Nakchu in Tibet, Ngawa and Garze in Sichuan, Diqing in Yunnan, Qinghai and Gansu. There are several categories of Guozhuang, for instance, “Big Guozhang” is performed at large religious sacrificial ceremonies, “Middle Guozhuang” at traditional folk festivals and “Small Guozhuang” at parties with friends. In addition, it also can be divided into “Mass Guozhuang”, “Lama Guozhuang”, “Town Guozhuang” and “Agricultural Guozhuang”. More

Bronze Drum Dance

The Bronze Drum Dance is one of the most widespread and influential of the ancient dances among the Zhuang and Yi ethnic groups in Wenshan in the Zhuang and Miao Ethnic Autonomous Prefecture in Yunnan Province. The tradition is maintained in the Zhuang and Yi villages of Guangnan, Malipo, Funing, Xichou, Maguan and Qiubei counties. The most representative bronze drum dance is that of the Zhuang and Yi ethnic groups of Guangnan County, Xinzhai Village in Malipo County and several Bailuo subsidiaries of Muyang village in Funing County. More

Dongba Painting (Naxi Nationality)

Dongba painting, which is popular throughout the Gucheng District of Lijiang City in Yunnan Province and Yulong, in the Naxi Autonomous Region, is of vital importance in the Dongba culture of Naxi. Much of it depicts folk gods and ghosts, legendary ancestors and animals that symbolize a harmonious relationship between people and nature. The main forms are scripture painting, wooden plate painting, card painting and scroll painting. More

Tie-dyeing technique of the Bai Nationality

Tie-dyeing, a kind of ancient textile dyeing technique, was called “Jiao xie” in ancient times. To date this traditional technique remains strong in ZhouCheng village in the Bai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan City and also Taicang and Miaojie in the Weishan Yi and Hui Autonomous County. The Bai Tie dyeing industry in Zhoucheng village is the most famous, named “National Tie-dyeing Hometown” by the Ministry of Culture. More

Wooden Drum Dance

The Wooden Drum Dance is a folk dance popular among the Miao, Li and Wa ethnic groups in southwest Yunnan. During sacred ceremonies they dance while beating wooden drums which are cut from tree trunks and then hollowed out. The general wooden drum dance is one part of major sacrificial rites that involve everyone, and the drum is highly symbolic. The acts of beating the drum and dancing to the drum is descended directly from an ancient and primitive culture, with strong values based on ancestor worship and reverence for nature. More 

Torch Festival (Yi Nationality)

The Torch Festival is a traditional festival popular in the regions of the Yi people such as Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan. It is also celebrated among other ethnic groups such as the Bai, Naxi, Jinuo and Lahu.The Torch Festival, on June 24th of the lunar calendar, is spectacular. More

Water-Splashing Festival (Dai nationality)

The Water-Splashing Festival is also known as “Buddha’s Birthday” or “Bimai” (New Year) in the Dai language. Dai People in the Dehong region of Xishuang Banna also call it “Shanghan” and “Shangjian” which come from Sanskrit and mean turnover, alteration and transmission and the coming of New Year. The festival is celebrated by Achang, De’ang, Bulang and Wa ethnic groups and also in neighboring countries including Cambodia, Thailand, Burma and Laos. More

Manual Paper-making Techniques of the Dai and Naxi People

The Dongba paper of Naxi is also known as Baidi paper. It is made using unique techniques that are held by Baidi Village in Naxi County, Shangri-La County in the Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Region. Baidi (Baishuitai) is the origin of Dongba culture, and Dongba paper is the most important writing paper popular in the northwest of Yunnan. More