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Nuoyuan Drama

Updated : Jul 29, 2019

Nuoyuan drama, also known as "Nuo drama" or "Tudi drama", is a local drama derived from the ritual of offering sacrifices to ancestors of Tujia people. Nuoyuan drama is actually the general name of "redeem a vow to a god" and "Nuo drama". It was originally an art activity held by Tujia people for seeking descendants, removing diseases and praying for longevity. Through long-term development, more than 30 tune names and more than 200 dramas have been formed, becoming a relatively mature local opera.

Nuoyuan drama is a kind of primitive religious drama evolved from exorcising activities in ancient times. It is a unique opera form combining religion with art and entertaining gods with people. Every year from the 15th day of the eighth lunar month to the 24th day of the twelfth lunar month, Nuoyuan drama will be performed when the countryside exorcises evil spirits, eliminates disasters and bad luck, and celebrates the longevity of human life. 

Nuoyuan drama is divided into Gaonuo and Dinuo two schools. Gaonuo drama is popular in Tujia, bai and other minority areas, and popular in the local Han region. The common feature of Gaonuo and Dinuo is venerating "3 yuan", which are three immortals with boundless magic power.

Nuoyuan drama consists of Nuo drama (or Nuo dance) and Nuo skills. Nuo drama has fixed plot and characters dialogue; Nuo skills is a kind of “mysterious culture” phenomenon including drawing magic figures with spouting water, stepping on burning Huakou (an ancient farming tool), biting Huakou, passing charcoal fire, touch boiling oil pot and climbing knife ladders.

2019 Zhangjiajie Bureau of Culture, Tourism, Broadcasting and Sports