Funeral dance, an ancient ceremonial dance at the funeral which is endemic to Tujia people,especially areas around Qing river waters.Popular as the waving dance is, funeral dance also heated welcomed by Tujia people.
The fact is only men not women can be allowed to performance funeral dance. The dance movements all take birds and animals as imitating models,that is,continuously shake your whole body and sway your haunch at a side-to-side movement with your hands shaking freely.Funeral dance is a presentation of daring beauty.
As the history goes,since Tang dynasty ,the ancestors of Tujia people already had the record of funeral dance.Till today, every time there is a old one passed away,the relatives and neighbors of him/her will gather together to have a funeral dance .Generally speaking,two men or four stand in front of the coffin to have a face-to -face dance ,then more and more men will join in ,usually the peak hits over hundreds of dancers and audience.
Not only the dances but also the songs to fully display the beauty of funeral dance.Both the dances and songs create a happy and joyful atmosphere .In closing ,all the performers will say “sadness are gone” in one voice to express their wishes of removing sorrows.
As usual, funeral dance is the ceremony held for those old ones who died a well-deserved death.
Soured and Translated by Aileen