UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritages in China (Ⅳ) (8)

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

Gesar epic tradition

The item, "Gesar epic tradition" was inscribed on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009.

The ethnic Tibetan, Mongolian and Tu communities in western and northern China share the story of the ancient hero King Gesar, sent to heaven to vanquish monsters, depose the powerful, and aid the weak while unifying disparate tribes.

The singers and storytellers who preserve the Gesar epic tradition perform episodes of the vast oral narrative (known as 'beads on a string') in alternating passages of prose and verse with numerous regional differences.

Epic performances, often accompanied by rituals such as offerings and meditation, are embedded in the religious and daily lives of the community.

The hundreds of myths, folktales, ballads and proverbs handed down as part of the tradition not only serve as a form of major entertainment in rural communities but also educate listeners in history, religion, custom, morality and science.


(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


Related Stories