Yuping Bamboo Flute

Culture

Yuping Bamboo Flute

by Live in Guizhou


Image Source: Xinhua News

Yuping Bamboo Flute is one of the “Three Treasures of Guizhou” that is famous alongside Maotai liquor. Its sound is clear and melodious, and its craftsmanship is exquisite. It is a fine product among ethnic instruments and a cultural integration of the Yuping Dong, Han, Miao, Tujia, and other ethnic groups.

The production of Yuping Bamboo Flute began during the Ming Dynasty’s Yongle reign and was included as a tribute in both the Ming and Qing Dynasties, greatly favored by the imperial court. Among the common people, it was often given as a precious gift between friends who appreciated music. In 1913, Yuping Bamboo Flute was awarded a silver medal at the International Arts and Crafts Exhibition in London, and in 1915, it won a gold medal at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. It is one of China’s earliest ethnic folk instruments to receive international recognition.

Yuping Bamboo Flute has very strict requirements in terms of material selection and production. It is made from a type of water bamboo that grows in the shade of the Yin Mountains and is rarely exposed to sunlight. The bamboo nodes are long, thick, and uniform in size, with a thickness comparable to a human thumb. The timing of bamboo cutting is also crucial and is generally considered best during the two months after the beginning of winter. At this time, the bamboo has a lower water and sugar content, making it less prone to cracking or molding when used to make flute.