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Home>Learn about sanya>Hainan Story in the 2008 Beijng Olympic "China Story" Exhibition

Hainan Story in the 2008 Beijng Olympic "China Story" Exhibition

As the opening of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, with the theme of "attention to China's state-level immaterial cultural heritage and traditional ethnic, folk customs, folk culture", the "china story" cultural outreach activity is also launching in Beijing. The exhibition was sponsored jointly by the 29th Olympic Organizing Committee and the Chinese People"s Ministry of Culture together with the relevant government departments of the provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. In the 30 "Luckily Clouds cottages", the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities displaying the plenty of national immaterial cultural heritage and various nation culture and folk culture all over China in a three-dimensional style through pictures, substance, multi-media art and so on fresh new ways of expression with in spot craft show and interactivities with audience.

Li culture is the theme of Hainan Province, through a variety of traditional arts crafts and musical instruments to forward the story of Li People to the athletes and audience of Olympic Games. Li is the first ethnic group in Hainan Island, they are nice and kind, hard-working and good at singing and dancing, is an ethnic group that brave and simple. Li people do not have character, but they are able to record their life by wisdom and decorate their life with beauty, in thousand of year's history and culture accumulation, they composed a gorgeous story of Li culture.

Please follow us and the China Story, step into the Li People and listen to the story of Lli People's folk tradition.

Li Fabric, the start of clothing

It's never exaggerate to say Li Fabric is the start of clothing, this traditional art craft featured with local style had been mastered by ancestors of Li People even 2 thousand years ago, while in mainland China the art of cotton manufacturing had still been study over for many hundred years.

When Yuan Dynasty replacing Song Dynasty, Hainan Island was interrupted a lot by the wars, at the moment, a ship from the north launched at the bank of Yazhou, an exhausted and nervous young lady got down the ship. She wished she could get a place to live here, but when she tells her story nobody could understand. Although she was a little bit despairing, when seeing the sweet smile of local people, she smiled in return and there she was left. She was a child bride escaped from her husband's family in Jiangsu, but she never knew she could run this far, what more, it's the place of Li People, the holy land of cotton manufacturing all over the world. The technique of spinning and dye were both ahead of mainland China for thousand of years!

Although she does not understand the language there, yet any woman will learn how to spin. Shortly the lady became a spinning expert under instruct of Li ladies. 30 years passed and she gradually became a old lady, as she missed her homeland in the north, with spinning machines, and also she brought back the advantage technique as processing cotton, spinning and weaving to the local people in her homeland, this lady was the famous Huangdaopo who brought a revolution of cotton manufacturing at the time, the new textile product she made on the base of Li technique was famously admired.


The traditional Li cotton textile is featured with obvious ethnic group character, it's classic and original, it's a heritage of the ethnic group, doubtlessly is a living fossil of culture.

Coconut skin sculpture, the former "tribute from the south sky"

Coconut skin sculpture, the most famous art craft in the reign of Li people, was so well know for it's glamorous design and elaborated sculpt technique.

There are records in the history that as far as 2000 years ago, the peoples on the Hainan Island started to use coconut skin products. The sculpture art of Li people started in Tang Dynasty, there were words form Tang dynasty poet Lu Guimeng says "the wine had fulfilled the coconut skin cup to eliminate the poison fog, the wind blows the banana leaves and get on the boat", which showed that people at that time believe that the coconut skin will be break when touching poison, so they made them into bowls and cups. In the feudal society when the struggle for power was pretty strong, the coconut skin cup used to be popular with the power controllers. Till Ming and Qing dynasty, the design and technique to sculpt coconut skin was already very exquisite and the sculptures were used as precious tributes to the central government, thus the sculptures owned the fame of "tribute from the south sky".

There were also records of coconut skin sculpture in the document of Qing dynasty, the royal family Awill have make tea with elaborate bowls. At the time, Canton province paid the coconut skin milk tea bowl as the tribute. The outer face of the bowl was coconut skin, on the surface of the thin skin, handicraftsman engraved the decoration lines of pine, bamboo and plum, the inner face was made by silver, which was deeply beloved by the emperor, not only on the banquet5 will he use it but also in daily life.

Since the very old time, the coconut skin sculpture was highly appreciated as art crafts with visual value. It's kind of decorated art craft that owns a very special folk art, beautiful design and elaborate technique that grants the beauty touching.

Nose flute ---- a unique immaterial heritage

There were 8 main musical instruments in Li people, single wood drum, Ding Dong wood, Ko Gong, Li Lie, Bi Da, Ko Bai, nose flute, Zhuo Ba, all those musical instruments are closely related to daily live.

The first occurred instrument was single wood drum, there were old folk songs of Li people says that there was a big tree hit by the thunder master, the tree was burnt a hole, the ancestor of Li people hit the hole on wood to gather the ethnic group to go hunting, their posterity cover the hole with cowhide or deerskin, which they hit to gather the crowd, sacrifice and play music. The Ding Dong woods were 2 pieces of wood hang by the rice watcher in the mountain house to banish boars, as the boars often destroy the rice plant, later they also became musical instruments to dancing entertainment.

The most unique one of them is nose flute, it's famous because it's played by nose. A Qing dynasty book recorded that "the unmarried boys and girls gathered in the wild at the spring end and summer start, boys play harmonica and girls play nose flute, which made up Li songs, those who feel in love with each other will be stay together and make engagement, no one could force other to it." This shows that nose flute is the instrument to express love in young Li people.

When the night comes, in the quiet Li village, there are clear sounds of flute from time to time, this is the calling from the Li bays to their girlfriend, or the girls respond to their boyfriend. Formerly every young people here could play nose flute, and the pieces of music were mostly improvised, and the melody various, the Li girls could distinguish their own lover simply by the melody, which just like the words saying "throwing a stone to see how deep the water is , play the nose flute to se if you love me."

As a unique musical instrument of Li people, the specialty of playing and representative of love grant nose flute the icon to expressed its ethnic group tradition that makes it the most unique immaterial culture heritage.

Drilling for fire ---- origin of fire lit by human

10 thousand years ago, when the amount of animal was far bigger than human being, human was harmed a lot by them and living without fire. The raw meat and vegetable made the hard living human being surfer from bellyaching and the live is even harder. One day, a saint saw a bird peck the speculum, and the fire lit, that enlightened him to use speculum to drill wood to get the fire. The fire could bake raw and to drive snake and insects away, people was happy and jumping, they respect him as the king, and call him Sui Ren Shi.

The fire lit up by Sui Ren Shi Changed human being's life totally, a new era had been come since then. Till 3 thousand years before, in Qin dynasty, a branch of south place called "Tuo Yue" come to Hainan Island with the skill to get fire and become the first ethnic group on the island ---- Li. With the sill, Li people started their live on the land and kept working until now.

In the endless river of history, Li cotton, coconut skin sculptured, nose flute, drill wood fire ¡­ Those excellent expressions of Li culture left precious treasure to human being. The plentiful and alembracing culture, like lady tattoo, outdoor pottery making, hunting and so on, which are all represents for the thick local culture of Sanya. In the future issues, we will present them all to every reader of us.

Listen to the story of Li people, listen to the story of Hainan, listen to the story of China, hopefully the local culture of Hainan and the culture of China will walk to the open world with Olympic Game, wish people all over the world will know China more and love China, know Hainan and love Hainan.

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