Qiang Minority Ethnic Group Cultural Show

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).

venue: gao yuan hong (高源红)

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.

hosts for the night

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. 🙂

Qiang (羌) trumpet

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.

Some Qiang ritual
Qiang male dancers
Qiang female dancers
Qiang male singer
Qiang ensemble
Another number by the Qiang male dancers
traditional Qiang singer (dude is about 68 years old!)

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.

a Qiang flutist

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.

Qiang fashion show

The most elaborate Qiang costume is pictured below. The dude is a good 2m or something. He was massive!

the most elaborate Qiang costume
another Qiang singer
audience participation at the Qiang cultural show

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.

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