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15 July 2015

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[Dance] "Zong Bao Nao" Sacrificial Dance

"Zong Bao Nao", an ancient sacrificial dance of Yao people, was originated about one thousand years ago. It was mainly popular at Yao villages including Changtang Yao Autonomous Township, Luoxi Yao Autonomous Township, and Yuexi Township in Dongkou County, Shaoyang.


There was a legend about the dance. Long long ago, a Yao lady living on Changtang Mountain was caught off by a hellish mountain demon. When her son grew up, he learnt skills from Mater Zhang Wulang in Meishan to rescue his mother. He disguised himself with palm sheets wrapping his head, and vines fastening around his waist to prevent being found by the demon. With assistance of the Master, finally he defeated the demon and rescued his mother. Hence, Yao people in Changtang, Luoxi, and Yuexi areas held grand sacrificial ceremony on the 14th and 15th day of the first lunar month every year, and danced "Zong Bao Nao", in commemoration of their brave ancestor while praying for prosperity.


"Zong Bao Nao" dance was originated from the sacrificial ceremony at Xuefeng Mountain area. The movements of the dance are simple but strong, such as shaking head, swinging arms, waving sticks, twisting waist, and stamping, which embody bravery and strong will of Yao people.


"Zong Bao Nao" dance is of distinctive features of local custom, which is significant to the study on folk literature, ethnology, folklore, and Yao's customs and culture in southwestern Hunan, and moreover, provides reference for the study on Meishan culture and Nuo culture.


"Zong Bao Nao" sacrificial dance of Yao people in Dongkou County was nominated among the forth batch of National Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2014.