Governed by the
town of Datang, 7km away from Leishan and 52km from Kaili, Zhang'ao
village lies on the main road side from Kiali to Leishan. The marriage
custom, costumes and the technique of silver ornaments-making enjoy
high fame as well as bronze drum in the village.
Zhang'ao village is located on a beautiful slope. The crystal clear
Lianhuajiang river which originates from Leigongshan mountain runs
through the foot of the village. There are quantities of ever green
bamboo groves and tall and strait China firs surrounding the village
while wooden houses hide in them. People believe it's the original
place of bronze drum dance which contains the soul and spirit of
Mt Leishan showing a feeling of wideness and warmness.
Zhang'ao means the
place where bamboo grows in Miao language. The bronze drum here
has its own unique style, it's simple and warm. In all, there are
totally 12 kinds of steps among the bronze drum dance, 9 of them
can be performed, divided into male bronze drum dance and female
bronze drum dance. Male bronze drum dance can be subdivided into
the yong's and the old's. However, both of them have the common
features of violent rhythm, fast and warm steps. Comparing with
men's bronze drum dance , women's bronze drum dance tends to show
a flavor of tender and slow, so called" oriental disco"
The wedding ceromony
of Zhang'ao is especially charming, open-minded and mysterious which
cosists of 3 parts of traditional rituals. Firstly, expressing love
to each other in groups by antiphonal singing and exchanging gifts
between the lovers on the ground of "Youfang" which is
an ideal place for the young to get together and express their love.
Secondly, the bride escapes her home with her sweet heart in the
late night brightened by stars by throwing a pack of her own wedding
dowry through the window of her house without informing her parents.
Thirdly, the bridegroom's family prepare rice wine and food for
the villagers and relatives, and the new couple will go to bed and
spend the night on the same bed together, then the match-maker from
the bridegroom's village will visit the bride's family and tell
them what had happened and what to do next-to know and recognize
the new relative, the bride's father, brothers and uncles will visit
the bridegroom's home and ask money for dowery, then the two families
became relatives and started to communicate and visit each other.