苗族古歌 Miao ancient songs

所屬名錄: 第一批國家級名錄

編號: I-1

申報地區或單位: 貴州省台江縣、黃平縣

Inscribed list: National List, First Batch

Inventory no.: I-1

Nominating unit(s): Guizhou Province, Taijiang County, Huangping County

苗族古歌是一種以創世為題的詩體神話,主要流傳於苗族聚居地。苗人今日主要分佈在中國西南部,是一個沒有自己獨立文字的少數民族。有鑑及此古歌的傳承是由苗人口口相傳。苗族古歌的內容包括苗族歷史、倫理、民俗、服飾和建築等。

 

苗族古歌可分為四部分:開天辟地、楓木歌、洪水滔天和跋山涉水。古歌的內容多以原始神話傳說為基礎創作,演唱形式為一問一答,表達出苗族先民如何用神話傳說解釋自然現象及歷史。同時,聆聽者亦可從中知道苗族的歷史,如苗族的大遷徙、其古代社會制度及日常生產生活等。除此之外部分古歌中的內容亦會提及冶金技術,反映苗人的青銅文化歷史。而古歌的詩句亦展現不同的修辭手法,有排比、擬人、反問等,生動描述苗族先民對天地萬物的解釋及開創人類歷史的功績,豐富了古歌的內容。

 

苗族古歌通常在祭祖、婚喪、聚會及節慶等重要場合,由中老年人、巫師、歌手等演唱。演唱時主人與客人會分開對坐,以問答形式對唱,曲調雄壯蒼涼。苗族古歌中會用到幾種獨特樂器:蕭筒、芒筒和板凳。這些樂器流行於苗族地區,分有吹奏樂器和打擊樂器。

 

苗族古歌主要以口相傳,包括祖先傳授、家庭傳授、師徒傳授、自學等形式,傳承這份屬於苗族的民族歷史。但因現代文化和市場經濟等方面的衝擊,苗族古歌瀕臨失傳,現時能完整唱出整部古歌的人已寥寥可數,而且這些人大多已經年事已高。貴州台江縣經過數年的努力,將收集到的苗族古歌編寫,並出版成《苗人的靈魂 – 台江苗族文化空間》一書,作為申報世界非物質文化遺產的文本。在2006年,苗族古歌被列入第一批國家級非物質文化遺產。

 

 

Miao ancient songs are creation myths of a poetic style, of the Miao people.  Miao people live in southern China today.  Not having their own written language, Miao ancient songs are therefore passed down orally. 

 

The content of Miao ancient songs are based on myths. The songs are in a dialogue format with one person asking and the other person will sing to answer. The themes of the songs vary, from the birth of the Earth, to the origins of humans and all species, the beliefs and customs of the Miao people, and their way of life, including their clothing, and architecture.  For example, one of the songs has a portion that mentions the metallurgical skills of the people, the bronze culture of the Miao people in the ancient period. 

 

Miao ancient songs are normally sung in special occasions such as at rituals and sacrifices, weddings and funeral ceremonies, and gatherings with friends and relatives. And at traditional festivals. The singers are mostly the elders and necromancers. When they sing the ancient songs, the guests and other people will be divided to sit on two different sides. People will sing the songs by asking questions first and then the others will answer. The songs can be sung for several days. There are specific music instruments made of bamboo or wood that are used to accompany the singing of Miao songs. 

 

Miao ancient songs are handed down orally. People learn the songs from their family or from a master. However, because of the modern culture, it is hard to continue this tradition. There are not many people who can still sing a complete Miao ancient song today, and those who still can are quite old.  The tradition of Miao ancient songs is close to be lost. People from Taijiang County of Guizhou have made efforts to preserve this tradition.  They have collected as many Miao ancient songs as they can, and published a book as the part of the application for the UNESCO’s list of intangible cultural heritage. In 2006, Miao ancient songs were included on the first batch of the National List of Intangible Heritage of China.

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