Dong Storytelling: Passing Down Ancient Stories Through Song (Video)
Within the Dong ethnic group of China's Guizhou province, a profound belief is encapsulated in the adage, "Eat rice to nourish the body, and sing songs to nourish the heart." These songs, numbering in the hundreds, hold a purpose beyond mere entertainment. They serve as guardians of narratives that originate from eras preceding the advent of written communication. Zaidang Village, nestled in this cultural tapestry and renowned as a hub of ancient melodies, is where Hu Guomei, a distinguished vocalist, ushers us into this enchanting auditory legacy.
Through her artistry, Hu Guomei escorts us on a journey connecting with a tradition that echoes the past, whispering tales of ancestral wisdom. The melodies aren't merely sounds; they're vessels of history, carrying stories across generations. In a world engulfed by rapid change, these songs provide an evocative portal to a time when history was sung, and hearts were nourished by the resonance of every note.
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Top image: A singing group of 5 ethnic Kam women stand in front of the wooden drum tower in Xiaohuang village, Congjiang county, Guizhou, China. Source: imphilip / Adobe Stock.