Munao Singing Party of Jingpo Ethnic Group
Updated: 2010-07-27 14:32
In the center of the ground, there is a Munao Pillar around 20 meters high. Two boards are attached on the top of the pillar, where fancy and symbolic graphics are painted on both sides. On both sides of the pillar there are two plates about 8 meters high, painted with pictures representing the wish for blessings, and the good luck of children. The horizontal tablet above is painted with depictions of the Himalayas, the place of origin of the Jingpos. On the bottom are farmers and livestock pursuing a happy life in the future. It is said that from the pillar people can see the Himalayas, the place of their origin. Eight gongs, drums and other musical instruments that stand for happiness and celebration are hung on the pillars. On the outer side there are two rounds of fences, representing victory.
Jingpo Ethnic Group is helding Munao Singing Party. Photo by Zhang Chongting
Surrounding the Munao Pillar people either dance to the rhythm of the drum and music, or sing and dance following Erga (vocalist), the lead singer. Young men and women perform the Guest Greeting Dance and Rice Pestle Dance while the girls propose toasts to guests with the rice wine in bamboo tubes to express their respect and best wishes.
After that, some men, dressed in dragon suits, wearing a peacock feather on their heads and carrying long swords, lead the people dancing and singing down a path. As more people join, the dance team gets longer and longer like a long dragon moving slowly on the ground. Though there are many dancers, the change of the team pattern and steps are kept in order.
The Jingpos have a rich, graceful and popular oral literature including epics, myths, stories, fables, proverbs and riddles. The Munao Singing Party reflects their origin and history of migration, and is believed to have made the Jingpos wiser, braver and more united.
The Munao Singing Party can be traced back to primitive times. Legend has it that, long ago an envoy sent by the sun came to the earth and invited all life on the earth to take part in the Munao Singing Party. All the birds were sent to participate in the party. When the birds got back, they elected the peacock as the leading dancer to give a repeat performance. The ancestor of the Jingpo admired the graceful dance performed by the birds and decided to give the Munao Singing Party to the world. He drew the dance steps on chestnut poles and put the dance floor at the foot of the Himalayas, where the Jingpo come from.
Since then January 15 of the lunar calendar year has been fixed as the date of the Munao Singing Party.