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Yongxin Shield Dancing

( chinaculture.org )

Updated: 2011-09-13

Yongxin Shield Dancing
Yongxin Shield dancing

Shield dancing is a form of folk dance prevalent in Yongxin county, Jiangxi province. According to Yongxin county and Nantang village records, a shield was used to practice wushu during the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), indicating that shield dancing is over two hundred years old.

Only men perform it. Normally there are nine warriors, whom all wear white headbands, black clothes, and jute shoes. One of them holds a steel fork with a ring; the others hold the shield with one hand while the other one holds short knives. The music is accompanied by the sounds of weapons clashing and the shouts of the dancers. The plot of the play is comparatively simple and mainly revolves around the theme of two army groups' fighting. But the forms are various.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China, the government started to effectively develop and protect artistic folk heritages. As a 'living fossil' of folk culture, the shield dance is popular throughout Yongxin county. It's favored by all local residents, and enriches people's cultural lives. It is a great example of the local customs of Jiangxi province and displays a spirit of teamwork. In terms of artistic value, it's a combination of wushu and dance.

Yongxin Shield Dancing
The Shield dancing

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