Yaqiang----A Tibetan folk Dance with Unique Feature


The Yak was once called the Boat of Plateau. It is an irreplaceable companion for Tibetan people. For generation...

The Yak was once called the “Boat of Plateau”. It is an irreplaceable companion for Tibetan people. For generations, the Tibetan people eat the yak meat, drink the yak milk, burn the yak dung, and live in the yak hair tent. They have a special emotional connection with yaks.

The Yak Dance, also known as “Yaqiang” is an ancient folk dance of Tibetan with strong ethic style and art feature. In counties like Garze, Shiqu, Seda, Kangding, people perform the yak dance during special occasions such as important religious festivals to pray for auspiciousness.

It is said that the fifth Dalai Lama Luosangjiacuo didn’t show up in the Drepung Monastery in Lhasa for his succession ceremony. Civilians thought that he may have been troubled by the snow covered Wufeng Mountain, so they sent guides to pick up Luosangjiacuo with one male yak and one female yak. According to the legend, the guide was the incarnation of guardian of Buddhism Naijiongduojizhala, the male yak was the incarnation of guardian of Buddhism Dangjinqujie and the female yak was the incarnation of guardian of Buddhism Palden Lhamo. This event turned into the yak dance.

Another legend states that the fifth Dalai Lama Luosangjiacuo had a dream about a divine ox with upper and lower teeth. Its horns were the symbol of conventional truth and ultimate truth. The fire on the sharp of horns was used to prevent disasters. The five-colored satin on its head was Five Dhyani Buddhas which are Vairocana, Aksobhya, Ratnasambhava, Amitabha and Amoghasiddhi. The opened mouth and eyes were to completely eliminate the greed, hatred and ignorance. After that, people created the divine ox and commemorate by the yak dance.

The dance properties of yaks are produced by artisans. The horns are strong and the body is covered with black yak hair weave, which looked like a fire yak. When perform, two strong men hold the head the tail respectively and wave. In the sound of trumpet and drums, they dance and jump to express the extraordinary power.

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