Yutu Dance of the Tu Ethnic Group
http://www.chinese.cn 10:50, October 21, 2009 chinaculture.org
Yutu is another name of the tiger dance popular among the Tu ethnic group of Tongren County in Qinghai Province. It is a centuries-old folk dance for driving away evil and praying to the gods for peace.
From the 5th to the 20th day of the eleventh lunar month of each year and after a special sacrificial ritual, seven chosen men, with their upper bodies painted like tigers andleopards, upon hearing gunfire, rush down the mountain in a panic and finally into the village, going through the streets and even the houses for the purpose of "sucking away the evil spirits" from all the houses and people. The dance is filled with sharp contrasts. It is quite solemn at the ritual of Eriang (a Chinese god)Templewhile unstrained and barbaric when the dancers enter the village. It is mischievous and funny when they jump over the walls and take away food with their mouths and is unrestrained and bold once again when dancing in village.
Yutu is a sacrificial dance with a style specific to the Tu ethnic group. Some experts hold that this cultural phenomenon is quite special and influenced by the tiger worshipping tradition of the ancient Qiang ethnic group.