Firewood Chopping Dance
The Firewood Chopping dance is one of the oldest and most popular types of dance in the history of the Li Minority, called "Zhuancha" in the Li's language. It originated from a funeral custom in ancient Yazhou City (today's Sanya City).
It is a dance used by the ancient Li people to protect the body after someone dies, to drive beasts away, to help someone get over a shock and to worship their ancestors. Now it has become a leisure and entertainment presentation representing a unique part of the Li culture, and has achieved world-wide fame, long praised by people from other countries as the “world's rarely seen calisthenics”.
On 2nd June, 2006, the Firewood Chopping dance was officially inscribed into the list of National Intangible Heritage.
On lunar 3rd March, or at a harvest celebration, people gather at a grain-sunning ground or a terrace on hillside. Two thick, long bamboo poles are put on the ground, and four thinner bamboo poles placed on them.
One group of people, responsible for the thinner bamboo poles, sit, squat or stand and strike thick poles with thinner poles or slide the thinner over the thick to produce rhythms. The other group are dancers, and they spring up and down agilely at the moment when the poles open or close, and should also be graceful and natural.
When one and another pair of dancers jump out of the poles, the pole holders will hail "hey, he-hey" loudly. Hence the name Bamboo Pole dance or Firewood Chopping dance.
Hainan Coconut Carving
Making Fire from Drilling Wood in Li Ethnic Groups