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“Ko-ze” yak skin boat dancing

Publish Time: 2018-12-18 Author: From: China Tibet Online

The yak skin boat dancing, also called “Ko-ze” in Tibetan, is a kind of song and dance for boatmen’s entertainment. In Tibetan, ko means “yak skin boat”, and ze means “dance”. This dance is popular in Junpa Village in Quxu County, Tibet. Whenever the Shoton and Ongkor festivals come, boatmen will give a Ko-ze song and dance performance. It is said that in the past, boatmen in Tibet would perform this dance on high walls to show off their proficient skills.

The dance is cooperatively performed by singer and dancer "Abra" and boatmen carrying a yak skin boat on their backs and tapping on it to make a sound for the rhythm of the dance. Boatmen lift the boat with both arms and use a wooden pulley on their backs to pound an oar, which is pressed against their backs, to make the sounds.

The basic steps in "Abra" dance are derived from local Gorshie dance, which is powerfully rhythmic, rugged, and simple.

In 2008, the dance was included on the  list of the second batch of National Intangible Cultural Heritage items.

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