Culture\Music and Theater

Chants in the hills

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

"Most dong lang are very old. Once they are gone, the history of King Yalu and possibly even Miao culture will be forgotten," he says, adding that the average age of the dong lang is 70, which makes the preservation of this tradition urgent.

In 2009, the epic was included in the State-level intangible cultural heritage list.

In 2012, with the help of the Chinese Folk Literature and Art Society, King Yalu was published in Chinese for the first time.

By 2014, Yang Zhengjiang helped the county set up 17 teaching and learning centers across five towns to protect the folk art. He hopes to do more in the future to preserve the heritage.

Besides research, it would be a good approach to bring wider attention to the unique Miao culture by combining tourism with performances of the songs of the King Yalu epic, says Yao Xiaoying, a deputy to the National People's Congress and vice-president of the Guizhou Provincial Federation of Literary and Art Circles.

"I have watched the performances of King Yalu several times. It is about Miao history and religion. I believe people, even those who are not from the ethnic group, will be enlightened by it."

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