Jinuo Nationality "Big Drum Dance"
Big Drum Dance is a kind of folk dance which has a long history and profound influence on the common people, and it is spreading in Jinuo villages in Jinuoshan Jinuo Town of Jinghong City of Xishuangbanna Autonomous Prefecture of Yunnan Province. The Jinuo nationality has its own creation myth, which is treated as its "family root" by the whole nation. The Jinuo people worship and commemorate this "family root" by means of singing, dance and sacrifice in festivals, so as to make it undertake a function of teaching the national history.
"Big Drum Dance" is called "e'che song" in Jinuo language, and it was initially named "bailapao-situ-song", among which "bailapao" means sorcerer and "situ" refers to the stockaded village name. According to a folk tale, in the flood age Jinuo people's ancestor A'mai Yaobai built a large drum and let Mai Hei and Mai Niu stay in the drum to escape the disaster. Thereafter, Mai Hei and Mai Niu got married and they multiplied offsprings of Jinuo nation. Thus the Jinuo people performed the big drum dance generation after generation to commemorate A'mai Yaobai and treated the drum as a churinga and placed it in the home of Zhuoba (the old man in the stockaded village).
The big drum of Jinuo nationality is one meter long and its diameter is between 40 and 50 centimeters, and both its sides are covered with cowskin, and it is not allowed to beat the drum in usual time, as it is allowed to perform the big drum and make big drum dance on Temaoke Festival and when offering sacrifice to the God who was named "Tieluo Momo". Over ten of crabsticks are inwrought to both sides of the big drum, which looks like a sun radiating rays of light, so the people call it "sun drum".
There is a complete set of ritual before the big drum dance: before the dance the old men should kill a porket and a chicken to offer them before the drum, and seven presbyters kowtow and offer the sacrifice with one of them reciting the sacrifice words. Praying to the big drum can bring peace and prosperity to them. After the sacrifice, one person holds drumsticks in his two hands while dancing, and some others play cymbals while dancing. The singing words of big drum are called "wuyouke", and these singing words are usually about the history, morality and custom of Jinuo people. The movements of the dance include "praying to Gods", "Joyfully jumping" and "New Year Tune" and so on.
Bending legs, raising hands and turning about bodies are the main movements of the big drum dance. The dancers firstly stand there with both feet on the ground naturally and both hands clasping drumsticks sagging, and then the left foot sets forward and touches down the ground, the left knee bends and both legs shake. After that, the left hand holds a drumstick and raises it overhead and the right hand grasps a drumstick keeping it at the right hip. Then the left hand puts down and the right hand rises up. After the movement of turning around, the dancer exchanges the posture of the left and right foot.