Deang people keen on songs and dances

Deang people are good at singing and dancing. Whenever they celebrate a festival, hold a wedding party or build a house, they invite folk singer to sing poems. Their musical instruments include lusheng (a reed-pipe wind instrument), flute, sanxian (a three-stringed plucked instrument), kouxian (a stringed instrument played by plucking the string and blowing), drum and mangluo (a percussion instrument popular with minority nationalities in Yunnan Province).

One unique Deang musical instrument is the "water drum", which is called "gelengdang" in the local language. The water drum no longer exists in other nationality society. The water drum is made by hollowing out a piece of round wood, which is 30 cm in diameter and 70 cm in length and covering the two ends with cow skin. People put some water into the drum before they use it. During the important festivals, the leading dancer hangs the water drum in front of his breast. He dances while beating the bigger drum end with a drum hammer held in his right hand and the smaller drum end with his left hand. Then people follow his steps, form a circle and dance happily.

Deang people also do a lot of folk dances. Their folk dances mainly include the following kinds:

Drum dance

Deang people play drums or small cymbals (a musical instrument in the form of a round metal plate. It is hit with a stick, or two cymbals are hit against each other) whenever they dance. Drum is the soul of Deang folk dances.

Bamboo pole dance

It is a funeral dance, played only at the funeral ceremony of old people who died at the age of 70 or above. The dancers wear clusters of bells around the waist. They beat the ground with four thin and two thick bamboo poles and dance. The bamboo poles are a symbol of horse, and the sound of the beating is a symbol of clops. They dance three times a day (in the morning, at noon and in the evening) in the three days while people keep vigil beside the coffin. The dance is both extol of the dead person's merits and a hope for the soul of the deceased to go to the heaven easily (by riding the "horse").

Gayang dance

It is the dance of Yang people, one branch of Deang ethnic group. It still exists in Longchuan County in Dehong Prefecture and Mengxiu County in Ruili Prefecture.

Circle dance

The dance is popular in Zhenkang County in Lincang Prefecture nowadays and is usually a dance of men.



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