Home of the copper drum
Hechi’s copper drum culture goes back as far as the Han Dynasty (206 BC-AD 220), when the people living in the area considered copper drums sacred and Hechi is still one of China’s largest copper drum sites. A 2003 survey by cultural heritage departments, found more than 1,400 copper drums in the area, with at least 1,300 being used by local folk artists. In this way, ethnic groups in Hechi have produced a uniquely rich and diverse cultural form and customs for festivals, weddings, celebrations, funerals, and religious activities of local people, with ballads and for rice-planting and frogs. That same year, a copper drum conservation project along the Hongshui River basin joined the Culture Ministry’s Top 10 conservation project list for ethnic and folk cultures.
In 2006, the Zhuang People’s Copper Drum Practices were added to the national cultural heritage list by the State Council. In 2008, the Culture Ministry declared Donglan county and the city of Hechi the “Home of Chinese Copper Drum Art” and, in 2009, its “Copper Drum Practice” became a candidate for the Human Cultural Heritage, thanks to the Culture Ministry. There are now more than 2,400 copper drums in the world, at least 1,400 of them in Hechi, making it a Copper Drum Cultural and Ecological Reserve with recognition across Guangxi.
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