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Gun Shan Zhu of Miao Nationality

Author:zxm    From:   Time:2017-06-14   Browse:   Size:  Big  Middle  Small

Gun Shan Zhu of Miao Nationality belongs to the first batch of national intangible cultural heritages approved by the State Council. In 1957, it was performed in Beijing for Mao Zedong, Zhu De and other leaders of the Central Committee. In 1991, it won the golden award of arts performing in national minority traditional sports meeting in Nanning, Guangxi. In 1992, it won the world's highest award of ethnic and folk art in Poland –award of“Golden Hill Staff”.

Miao’s panpipe dance “Gun Shan Zhu”, “Zi Luo Duo” in Miao language, was originally called “earth dragons tumbling in thistles and thorns”. As one of Miao’s panpipe dances from generation to generation,it is called a bright pearl on the plateau and popular in Zhuchang Miao and Yi Township of Nayong County,Guizhou Province. It sets performances of wind panpipes,dance and acrobatics art as a whole. When performing, the players are dressed with caps of pheasant tail feathers, put on white embroidered gowns and hemp straw sandals. By turns they stand with head on the ground or climbing other players’ shoulders, and between the bowls full of water, they dance with playing the wind panpipes.

It is said that in ancient times, Miao’s ancestors came to the forests (named Daqing black ocean) in their great migrations. Thistles and thorns are everywhere on the rough ways and the Miao’s brave young people blaze a channel in the thorns with their vigorous bodies for the elders to go through to arrive at the Daqing black ocean successfully and settle down. To commemorate the great contributions, people imitate the youth’s actions of tumbling thistles and thorns with the bodies and emcee the panpipe dance, acting as the “earth dragons” rolling in the thistles and thorns to reproduce the scene of crowds of young overcoming all difficulties in living inherited from generation to generation.

In the long-term process of development, “Gun Shan Zhu” has a continuous improvement as different acting skills gradually integrating into it. To 1989, it had developed from previous one actor to six to eight ones together. Players in white embroidered gowns and dressed with caps of pheasant tail feathers hold six panpipes and play the panpipe dance melodies inherited from generation to generation. Sometimes they stand with head on the ground and the degree of difficulties of dance steps and skills continue to increase with the process going on, which produce a breathtaking scene of Miao compatriots’ fearlessness of dangers and difficulties. They march forward courageously to overcome all the difficulties in the migration. The tenacious and indomitable national nature implied in the dance shows a kind of precious spiritual wealth, which inspires and guides the people to keep advancing and never to be overwhelmed by the difficulties.

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