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One Day of the Master of Dong Songs

 2012-11-05    kate    Entertainment    Qiandongnan    1010  

Here is the Xiaohuang Village, Congjiang County, Qiandongnan of Guizhou Province. This is a Dong village full of style, magical, and poetic, and known as "the hometown of the song”, “the ocean of the song”, and “the nest of Dong songs”. There are more than 740 households and more than 3,300 villagers in the village. No matter men or women, old or young, everyone loves to sing Dong minority big song. They sing for fun, and sing of proud.

Dong minority big song is a kind of very rare folk choral music in the world today, multi-sound, no conductor, no accompaniment, and known as “the sound of nature ". The Dong or Kam People are internationally renowned for their polyphonic choir singing called Kgal Laox in their own language, which can be literally translated as Kam Grand Choir in English, and Dong minority big song(侗族大歌) in Chinese. The Kam Grand Choir has been enlisted by the UNESCO as a world-class intangible cultural heritage since 2009. In September 1993, the Xiaohuang Village was named as the township of Dong Songs by Guizhou Provincial Department of Culture and “hometown of Chinese folk art” by the State Ministry of Culture in 1996.

There are a lot of masters of songs in Xiaohuang village. There is 68-year-old Grandma, who is one of the masters of songs, also, the national non-material cultural Dong minority big song inheritor, can sing 300 dong songs, and have taught thousands of new singers.


8:11 in the morning, the grandma go to pick indigo plants which used to dye her own Dong clothing on the uphill.
Xiaohuang Dong Village

When she was young, she reclaimed a piece of land to grow indigo plants. Now she has to climb to the slope to pick the indigo plants, it is rather hard for an old to do so.
Xiaohuang Dong Village

Picking indigo plants: indigo plants are the natural vegetable dyes for Dong people dyeing. Soak in a bucket, and plants rot in a few days, then water becomes cyan, remove the slag, adding the right amount of lime, agitation, what settle down is the dyeing dye.
Xiaohuang Dong Village

Xiaohuang Dong Village 

In this way, a few days a time, collected enough amount of the plant, and go on the next step of the dyeing
Xiaohuang Dong Village

Before soak indigo, collected indigo floating debris made a few days ago first, and placed inside the bags.
Xiaohuang Dong Village  

Poured out the water, and collect the precipitate at the bottom of the barrel, which is the indigo
Xiaohuang Dong Village 

Put the floating objects and precipitation in the bags  
Xiaohuang Dong Village 

Put the fresh indigo plant picked in the morning in the bucket, soak water
Xiaohuang Dong Village 

It was 10:00 after well-soak this barrel. A few days later, this bucket of water will turn cyan, and then add some lime, coming up with some dye later. The production of dyes is not easy, such a vat, the final indigo dye is about one kilogram, and to dye a cloth, then should need a few barrels.
Xiaohuang Dong Village 

The elderly was too busy to attend to wipe the sweat on her face, but just said that it was a good day, she had to sun the spinning.
sun spinning 

After lunch, the elderly excited to show me the photos, while telling me the situation when she went to Beijing to attend the 2010 Chung Yeung Festival elderly Chinese Art Troupe theatrical performances.
Xiaohuang Village 

In 2009, China's Ministry of Culture awarded her national intangible cultural heritage project Dong minority big song representative inheritor’s certificate.
Dong minority big song representative inheritor’s certificate 

In 2009, China's Ministry of Culture awarded her national intangible cultural heritage project Dong minority big song representative inheritor’s medal.
Dong minority big song representative inheritor’s medal 

In 14:00, it was time for her to sewn clothes.
Xiaohuang Village Dong Cloth 

Although she has been 68-year-old, but the action is very deft.
Xiaohuang Village Dong cloth  

The Elderly introduced that generally speaking, if the cotton inside layer of fabric is blue, it is the women’s clothes, but if it is white, it is male’s clothes.
Xiaohuang Village Dong cloth  

Making shoes is a meticulous work, and it should take more than two months to make a pair of shoes.
Dong Cloth 

The elderly showed me that a pair of shoes she spent two months time to make, this pair of shoes is all handmade, and the cloth embroidered pattern is very exquisite.
Dong shoes 

She is famous mistress of embroidery.
Xiaohuang Dong Cloth 

Steamed Fragrant Glutinous Rice in the evening: Fragrant Glutinous Rice is a kind of rare rice protected by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Xiaohuang Village  

The village is full of peace at night
Xiaohuang Village

Xiaohuang Village  

At night, there are always groups of students coming to learn the dong song.
Xiaohuang Village Dong Songs 

There are two time to learn song in Xiaohuang Village: First, annual the second day the Chinese New Year to the fifteenth; second, annual song competition held on August 15; during which young people will learn a lot of songs.

At ordinary times, the songs of heritage need the masters to teach the songs.

There’s no specific "teach" time of the Dong Songs, all in their own spare time grant of songs, voluntary. They are silently making a great contribution for Dong cultural heritage. 

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