Culture\Music and Theater

Chants in the hills

By Chen Nan and Yang Jun | China Daiky | Updated: 2017-03-13 07:06

Chants in the hills

The chanting of verses from the King Yalu epic is a common feature at funerals and festivals of the Miao ethnic group.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Yang Xiaodong's main inspiration is his uncle, Yang Changrong, a folk singer from Guoshiguan, a remote mountainous village in Ziyun county, Guizhou province.

This area, where Yang Xiaodong, a 28-year-old singer, grew up, is also home to the Miao people.

Yang Changrong, 60, is a local celebrity as he is the only villager who can still chant verses in praise of King Yalu-the ethnic community's revered ancestor-in the old Miao language.

The old language doesn't have a written text and is almost forgotten.

China's other popular ethnic epics include songs about the Tibetan King Gesar, the Mongolian King Jianggar and the Kirgiz King Manas.

During his childhood, Yang Xiaodong used to follow his uncle to funerals, where Yang Changrong would chant verses from King Yalu's oral epic.

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