Hainan adds 4 national-level intangible cultural heritage items

By Chen Shumin, Li Xiang / HICN / Updated: 17:26,11-June-2021

Four Hainan intangible cultural heritage items, including the Sanya Tanka Songs, the Pangu Dance of the Miao People, the Li Bone Hairpin Carving Technique, and the 108 Hainan Brothers Seafaring Worship Ceremony were chosen as part of the Fifth Batch of National-level Representative Items of Intangible Cultural Heritage, according to news released by the State Council on June 10.

The Sanya Tanka Songs were selected in the traditional music category, the Pangu Dance of the Miao People in the traditional dance category, the Li Bone Hairpin Carving Technique in the traditional craft category, and the 108 Hainan Brothers Seafaring Worship Ceremony in the folk custom category.

Sung by the Tanka people, who traditionally live on boats at sea in southern China, Tanka songs (also known as saltwater songs) are a record of the Tanka peoples lives and work.

Performed by the Miao minority people living in Wuzhishan City on the sixth day of the sixth lunar month every year, the Panhuang Dance expresses prayers for a prosperous year as well as worship  for Pangu, Lord and Creator of the universe in Chinese mythology.

The bone carving technique of the Li minority people living in Baisha and other parts of Hainan involves washing, boiling, drying, shaping, carving, and dyeing the bones to create striking hairpins and other objects which are both useful and pleasing to the eye.

In Hainans Qionghai City, a ceremony is usually held before the fishermen or seafarers go out fishing. The ceremony worships the 108 Saints (also known as the 108 Hainan Brothers) who lost their lives fighting pirates on the sea and were afterwards considered the protectors of those who go to sea.  

With these four newly selected items, Hainan now boasts a total of 32 national-level intangible cultural heritage items. Plus, in 2009, UNESCO listed the Hainan traditional Li textile techniques as Intangible Culture Heritage in need of urgent protection.

China's yearly Cultural Heritage Day is this Saturday, and around 100 culture, tourism, fashion, and tradition themed activities will be held across the province by the Hainan Provincial Department of Culture, Radio, Film, Television, Publications and Sports in order to promote Hainan's unique and highly valuable cultural heritage.

(Photo credit: WeChat Official Account of International Tourism Radio)



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