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Distinctive Cuotaiji of Yi Ethnic Group in China


Cuotaiji is a kind of ancient drama that only exists in Luoga stockaded village in Bandi Town of Weining Yi, Hui and Miao Autonomous County of Guizhou Province." Cuotaiji" is the transliteration of the equivalent in Yi language of Bandi Town. In Yi language, "cuo" means human being or ghost, "tai" means change and "ji" means playing games and disporting, so "cuotaiji" is usually translated to "the age when the human being was formed" or "the game of human's change", and it is usually abbreviated to "human changing drama". But some scholars regard that "cuotaiji" reflects hard scenes of migration and opening up virgin soil of the ancestors who changed to ghosts and gods, and the Yi people want to draw support from the ancestors to protect and bless the descendants. Therefore it will be more appropriate to interpret "cuotaiji" into "a game of asking the ancestors who have changed to ghosts and gods to protect and bless the descendants" or "a game of human's changing to ghosts and gods". If you want to enrich your travel to Shangri-la, a visit to Yunnan ethnic village to discover the culture of ethnic minorities in China would never disappoint you.



Due to the scarce historical data, it is hard to prove the exact age when "cuotaiji" initially appeared. The analysis of the drama content tells us that "cuotaiji" was possibly gestated in the Han Dynasty, and it was continuously modified and supplemented in later generations, and it was in the middle Qing Dynasty that "cuotaiji" finished its essentials. Nowadays it is only in Luoga stockaded village in Bandi Town of Weining Yi, Hui and Miao Autonomous County of Guizhou Province that "cuotaiji" still exists. Because of the the backward medical and health care, remote and isolated geographical position, and the inconvenient transportation, the local villagers are accustomed to adopting methods of offering sacrifice to mountain god, shooting powder-fire, rolling eggs and reciting ghosts to dispel catastrophes and diseases and pray for peace. If your China vacation packages covers Yunnan, you would be shocked by the colorful of culture of ethnic minorities in China.



Wen Daohua, the chairman of "cuotaiji", is of Yi ethnic group, and five generations of his family before his father were all "bimo"(a knowledgeable elder who is proficient in scripture and other folk activities) and all of them took part in and presided over the performance of "cuotaiji". "Cuotaiji" is usually performed from the 3rd day to the 15th day of first month in lunar calendar every year in a purpose of expelling evil influences and invoking blessings as well as praying for abundant harvest. The performance is usually held in evenings in a flat ground beside the village or between hills. If natural or man-made disasters happen, or the harvest is bad, then "cuotaiji" will be held one time for several years.
These years, culture-themed itinerary are hot cakes, so many China tour operators have arranged different kind of culture-themed tours to prompt their deals, which proves quite beneficial to them.



  1. 2012/11/14(水) 23:06:22|
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