UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritages in China (Ⅳ) (6)

(People's Daily Online) 15:23, May 30, 2023

Grand song of the Dong ethnic group

The item, "Grand song of the Dong ethnic group" was inscribed on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009.

A popular saying among the Dong people in Guizhou Province in southern China has it that 'rice nourishes the body and songs nourish the soul'. Their tradition of passing on culture and knowledge in music is exemplified in the Grand Song of the Dong ethnic group, multi-part singing performed without instrumental accompaniment or a leader.

The repertoire includes a range of genres such as ballads, children's songs, songs of greeting and imitative songs that test performers' virtuosity at mimicking the sounds of animals.

Taught by masters to choirs of disciples, Grand Songs are performed formally in the drum-tower, the landmark venue for rituals, entertainment and meetings in a Dong village, or more spontaneously in homes or public places.


(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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