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15 July 2015

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[Literature] The Miao Minority’s Songs

 

 

Area: Huayuan County, Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Hunan
Name: The Miao Minority’s Songs

NO.: Ⅰ- 2

Category: Literature

Year of Application: 2006
Applicant: Huayuan County, Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Hunan

Level: Provincial

 

Wuling area, junction between east and west of China, is a piece of fertile land which breeds folk art. 

 

According to their contents, the Miao’s folk songs can be categorized as follows: Youfangge (love song), Jiuge (toasting song), Kuge (bitter song), Ertongge (children’s song), Zangge (song for funeral), Laodongge, Miyuge, and Shizhengge (songs of labor, riddle and current politics), each with its own distinct melody. Feige (high in tone), popular in the northeast of Guizhou Province, is a special form of folk song performance. Pange is a form where young men and women compete in an old antiphonal singing style to express their wishes and to demonstrate their talents. Generally, men start the Pange. If the man loses in the song, the woman will drive him away by splashing water, which, in Miao’s tradition, is of no malevolence but a good-willed baptism. Provided the woman answers the song fluently and both of them have feeling for each other, they may get engaged. But if the woman loses, they could still continue singing until their being engaged. On that day, woman’s parents prepare the wine in time for the prospective groom’s family to toast all the participants of the song. At last, girl’s parents, taking a pair of ox’s or ram’s horns as cups, toast the couple to be married soon. Later, the entire night participants  play the Lusheng (a kind of instrument) and dance to congratulate the new couple.