After arriving at our hotel in Jiuzhaigou (九寨沟), we first had dinner and a short rest before we went to watch a cultural showcase of the Qiang minority ethnic group (羌族).
I wasn’t sure what to expect at the show really. While it’s quite clear that it’s a cultural show, I’m not sure what kind of culture to expect given that I know nuts about them.
When the first performance started, I definitely got a bit of culture shock. The Qiang people (羌族人) were weird… at least from my perspective. 🙂
I found their traditional costume kinda over the top as well. I thought I’d only see people wearing such stuff in a period drama series or in movies. It’s kinda odd to think that there are people who actually wear such stuff on a regular basis.
After several performers, I’m the most impressed with the Qiang flutist. Apparently, the Qiang flutist has a technique of using one breath for one song. Each song is about 3 minutes or more!
The other thing about their flutist is that in every Qiang village or community (can’t remember which), only 1 guy can have the knowledge of this technique and when it’s time for the technique to be passed on to the next generation, it is passed down only to 1 young male kid.
Also, our tour guide mentioned that each Qiang traditional costume costs a fortune! It can cost up to tens of thousands of dollars (RMB) per complete set! (Even the cheapest set costs almost RMB 10,000!) Everything about their traditional gear is handmade/sewn.
The most elaborate Qiang costume is pictured below. The dude is a good 2m or something. He was massive!
At the end of the show, I must say that I was definitely enriched by what I heard and experienced though it really ain’t my cup of tea.
Googling more about the Qiang culture, I was even more amazed to find out that the Qiang people do not have a written language and everything about their history is passed down by word of mouth. Wow.