Intangible Cultural Heritage Museum-Single Bamboo Drifting

Intangible Cultural Heritage Museum

Single Bamboo Drifting

by Live in Guizhou


Image Source: Eyesnews

Single bamboo drifting originated in the Chishui River Basin in Guizhou, where local people used to attempt to cross the river more than 1,000 years ago. Nowadays, it has evolved into a competitive sport and a kind of performing art. Performers need to stand upright on a nine-meter-long bamboo pole while drifting on a river, a skill that is very hard to learn due to the difficulty involved in balancing on the bamboo pole while on water.

Single bamboo drifting, an intangible cultural heritage skill in Zunyi, is a folk skill that standing on the single wood or bamboo to drift on the water. Bamboos used for bamboo drifting are generally 8 meters long, about 5 cm wide, and the paddle bamboo is about 5 meters long, which is moso bamboo in Chishui. Bamboo drifting is a local means of transport.

Mr. Xie Yuemin, a bamboo drifting performer in the Wujiang village,introduced that the bamboo drifting is born in the Chishui River. In the past, the traffic was inconvenient. The people living near the Chishui River needed go home after working hard, they used bamboo to cross the river to avoid walking mountain roads and detours, which saved time and kept convenient.  Bamboo Drifting is more presented in the form of performances nowadays.

Bamboo drifting has a variety of performances, like solo, two-man show and team performance.  On the surface of the water, the performers can achieve the actions like going forward, countermarch, turning back, turning around, and changing bamboos. They can even complete difficult movements such as “cock bamboo drifting” and “posing as a pheasant standing on one foot”. The performers can put on Han Chinese costumes or other performance clothing, which makes the performance get some atmosp.