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Tujia Minority jumping funeral dance

Culture 2017/04/10 View:1103

Jumping funeral dance is also called as “Jumping funeral drum” and called "Saerhe" in Tujia language, it is an ancient funeral ritual dance of Tujia Minority people of Ba people’s descendants, with strong local color. It is mainly popular in Tujia Minority area of Qingjiang River basin, and corresponding to the popular region of Shaking Hand Dance, so called “Shaking Hand at south Jumping funeral dance at north”.

Jumping funeral dance is to tell the story of human origins, ethnic migration and legend. When beginning, first a man handholds the gong around the coffin to knock and sing, subsequently the drummer and the dancers add the words by “Coincidence sound”, song melody is wide, diapason is unchained, rhythm is vivid, much like the ancient Bayu folk song. Jumping funeral dance is divided into three forms of double-person, three-person and group dance. All actions are the imitation of the birds and animals. The main characteristics are that the left and right swing amplitude of the dancer’s haunch is wide other than constantly quivering up and down of the whole body, the upper limbs will swing naturally along with haunch’s swing, with rugged beauty. In addition, the arm swing, going down, knocking chest, rounding shoulder and moving alternately of the foot side are different from Bayu dance. "Sui Book" recorded the spectacularity of jumping funeral dance: “......Place the corpse in house, the neighbors youth respectively holds the bow and arrow to sing the song around the corpse, use the arrow to knock the bow and knock the drum for condoling ......”.

Now, jumping funeral dance has been gradually separated from the funeral activities, becoming the Tujia people’s mass dance. Jumping funeral dance is the art wealth created by Tujia people, it has a long history and various forms, and shows the Tujia ethnic customs, and it is culture wonder of Tujia folk art. 

  

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