Jiacuo Dance of Mosuo Ethnic People in Lijiang
Jiacuo Dance(甲搓舞) is the traditional dance of the Mosuo Ethnic Minority, who live in the mountains of Lugu Lake of Yunnan province. It is one of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Yunnan, it is about Mosuo people’s daily life and ethnic cultural.
Jiacuo Dance(甲搓舞) is the traditional dance of the Mosuo Ethnic Minority, who live in the mountains of Lugu Lake of Yunnan province. So-called Jiacuo(甲搓), Jia(甲)means good and beautiful; and Cuo(搓) means dance, so the complete meaning of Jiacuo is dance for good times.
The origin of Jiacuo Dance is related to war. It is said that when Mosuo people was attacked by foreign nationalities, the tribal leader, together with Mosuo people, set a fire on the square of the village entrance. People surrounded the fire, shouting and dancing, to encourage soldiers and defeated the enemy. After the victory, they sang around the fire and danced happily. As a result, Jiacuo Dance became a group entertainment square dance, a dance for people to celebrate harvest, festivals and pray for gods. It also provides convenience for young men and women to find the soul mate.
The rhythm of Jiacuo Dance is strong, the step is vigorous and bold, cheerful and warm, the dance leader was accompanied by bamboo flute(竹笛) or Lusheng(芦笙), the dancing people were arm in arm, with fingers crossed with each other, facing the campfire, dance with counterclockwise direction. Their steps change with the speed of the music rhythm, sometimes someone will shout “Aruo, ruo(阿若、若)” with the rhythm of the steps. From time to time, the dance leader start to sing the Jiacuo Song(甲搓歌), then people followed him. While dancing, the girls’ white skirt floating with the step , silver chain in front of their chest shining, their black silk hair drifting, pearl string reflected the fire in front of their forehead. They are the graceful Mosuo girls.
No matter it is an ancient war dance, or a harvest dance, or a new year dance, the dance is always with cheerful and warm melody, vigorously and changeable steps, sometimes fast and sometimes slow, even there were hundreds or thousands people, the dance is always orderly. When it comes to festival, there were Jiacuo Dance. Mosuo people take the village as a unit, or several villages united, around the campfire, enjoy the dancing, singing, which often lasted all night.