Folk Art of Jing-Chu
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Ever since ancient times, Jing-Chu has long been the hometown of music and dance, with diverse folklore, cultural and entertainment activities. Wang Yi, author of Chapters of Chu Ci, once said: as Chu people believe in ghosts and advocate sacrificial practices, they would make witches or wizards sing and dance to enjoy themselves.” Zong Lin in Southern Dynasties once wrote in his Jing-Chu in Mind: “December 8th is La day (a traditional Chinese festival) and there is a saying goes ‘La drum ringing, spring grass growing’. On that day, villagers, with Hu caps (Traditional Chinese costume) on, beat waist drums together to get rid of the plague.”
In addition, folk songs and dances constitute a part of ritual activities, whose function is to pray for blessings and keep evils away. Later on, with development of the times, social function of self-entertainment and self-enjoyment is infused. Thus, as a folk cultural and entertainment activity, folk songs and dances gained great popularity in Jing-Chu area.
Up till modern times, folk performance has formed their own artistic characteristics and regional charms, such as Yu Gu (fishing drumming), Dao Qing (chanting folk tales to the accompaniment of simple percussion instruments), Drum rap and Lian Xiang beating, etc, which enjoy wide popularity among people in various areas with their rich local flavor and delightful performing scenes.