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Staying on edge, in Tujia tradition

By Yang Jun | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-11-01 16:11

A man carries a boy on his back, climbing a ladder of knives barefoot. The action, dangerous at first glance, is to celebrate the child's birthday and pray for his good fortune.

The performance is a part of nuotangxi, or Nuotang opera, a traditional folk art in Yanhe county, Southwest China's Guizhou province.

It used to be a part of ceremonies for the Tujia ethnic group, who performed the art as a rite. Now, it has become a part of various festivals.

Li Hanyi contributed to the story.

A Tujia man in traditional costume climbs the knife-ladder with bare feet. [Photo by Wu Min/For chinadaily.com.cn]
Every layer of the ladder is made of a sharpened knife. [Photo by Wu Min/For chinadaily.com.cn]

 

A Tujia man climbs the knife-ladder to the roof of a house. [Photo by Wu Min/For chinadaily.com.cn]

 

Kids wear wooden facial masks. [Photo by Tian Maochang/For chinadaily.com.cn]

 

A nuotangxi actor shows his skill. [Photo by Tian Maochang/For chinadaily.com.cn]

 

Wooden facial masks of nuotangxi. [Photo by Tian Maochang/For chinadaily.com.cn]

 

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