Tajik Eagle Dance

Home Culture 2019-06-17

Tajik Eagle Dance

Tajik Eagle Dance, a folk traditional dance in Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, is one of the national intangible cultural heritage.

Tajik is one of the oldest ethnic groups in China. They mainly live in Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County, Xinjiang. The rest are distributed in Shache, Yecheng and Zepu counties to the east of the county. The tenacious will and the ever-lasting fearless national spirit gradually formed the special aesthetic pursuit of the Tajik nation. They regard eagle as a strong person and hero. Folk songs and legends about Eagle are widely spread among the people. Even the origin of dance is closely related to the habits and dynamics of eagle, thus forming "eagle dance". The formation of Tajik dance characteristics is inseparable from accompaniment instruments and their unique playing methods. Eagle flute, drums, Rapaf (Rewaf), Blanz Kum and Tajik-style Eczech are all widely used folk instruments. The main forms of Tajik hawk dance are "Chafu Suzi", "Mailis", "Lapuyi" and so on.

On May 20, 2006, Tajik Eagle Dance was approved by the State Council of the People's Republic of China to be included in the first batch of national intangible cultural heritage list. Heritage No. III-41.

historical origin

The Tajik language belongs to the Indo-European Eastern Iranian language family. The Tajik people in China mainly live in the Selkur area in eastern Pamir, also known as Selkur Tajik (there are also a few Wahan Tajiks). People here regard Eagles as symbols of heroes. The legendary origin of dance is also associated with eagles. It is said that an old Shepherd named Dostik was flying freely in the sky when he was grazing. At the same time, he was surprised by the sound of "bah" when the eagle swooped. Once he accidentally picked up the wing bones of the eagle and made it into an eagle flute and blew out a wonderful sound. So he spread out his arms and circled like an eagle, and the dance spread gradually.

Dance features


Tajik Eagle Dance is mainly played by men, who are handsome, simple and rugged. When they perform and dance in festive festivals or family evenings, they sit or half-sit down, invite men and women to dance in pairs. Sometimes several pairs of dance partners perform together to form a group dance in the grand horse racing and goat holding activities of the Kirgiz nationality, many Eagle flutes and multi-handed drums form music. Team, playing "Goat Melody" and playing "Valavarahik" drum, shouting for the competing riders to help.


The style of Tajik Eagle dance is influenced by the living environment. Mountain people live in the plateau, strong sunshine, scarce oxygen, action can not be excessively rapid, need to be constantly buffered, thus forming a deep breathing and slow breathing law; and because often wearing soft flat-bottomed high boots walking on mountain roads and lawns, knees are relatively relaxed, slightly flexed, wrists flexible, feet smooth. So in the dance, the dancer's knees are also used to keep slight flexion, steady and powerful footwork, flexible and flexible movements.

Basic Modeling

The basic shape of Tajik Eagle dance is to imitate the eagle: the dancer wrings his waist and bows, lifts his arms behind him, like an eagle soaring in the air or dancing his arms lightly, walking back, like a vigilant Eagle cruising in the valley; or nods his head and jaws to play happily compared with the eagle; or holds his head high, folds his arms and presses his palms, and at the same time moves backwards, like an eagle flying toward the blue sky.

Style Types

Due to the differences of living areas, Tajik hawk dance can be divided into two main styles: one is "hawk dance in the Wacha Valley" and the other is "hawk dance in the Tashkur f Valley". The Eagle Dance in the Wacha Valley is similar to the Eagle Dance in the Malyang Valley and the Jeskanmu Valley. It is characterized by gentle lyricism and the combination of firmness and softness. Dance in the shape posture, charm, temperament and modality, etc. are all relaxed, delicate, gentle and smooth personality. The dance is also dominated by male performances. The dancer's limbs are naturally curved, soft and smooth, showing strong Lyric color. Although the music rhythm is seven beats, but the rhythm is more stable, soothing and quiet. The lines of the dancer's arms are also extremely soft. The forearms and wrists are very soft. The movements of turning, pressing and picking wrists are particularly soft. The finger shape even appears the "phoenix" gesture. Lyrical arms, or hand in shoulder, or elbow bending wrist, or light relaxation of arms, dancing, dancing; dance steps, step by step, emphasize the flexibility of the knee.

Unlike the former, "Eagle Dance in Tashkurgan Valley" pursues the firmness and strength of body lines. Male dancers have chest, shoulder, abdomen and knee flexion, and the body lines of the trunk appear to be a step-shaped, like the natural contraction posture of the standing eagle. The stepped curve like an eagle makes the dance look strong and rough, steady and heavy. The female dancer's limbs are naturally smooth, her movements are gentle and stretching, and her footwork is light and comfortable. In contrast, the female dance lacks change and appears repetitive and monotonous. Male dance is the representative of this dance, which has many changes and outstanding personality. The dancer's arm posture varies greatly, and the flattening of both arms to the side is more common. The dancing steps of this dance mostly adopt single step, step, step, pad, step, break step and so on. "One-step" and "short-step" are widely used. One step is smooth and slow, simple and simple; the rhythm of pacing is bright, strong, fluctuating and changeable. By comparing the fast and slow rhythm, the pacing is suddenly abrupt, and the ground is the rhythm, vigorous and powerful. At the same time, it emphasizes the flexibility of the knee, showing the rhythm of the combination of rigidity and softness, crispness and fluency.

Playing Method

The formation of Tajik dance characteristics is inseparable from accompaniment instruments and their unique playing methods. Eagle flute, drums, Rapaf (Rewaf), Blanz Kum and Tajik-style Eczech are all widely used folk instruments. Among them, the eagle flute is the most typical instrument of the Tajik nationality, playing techniques are difficult, but the tone is unique and beautiful. The Eagle flute is made of the eagle's wing bones. It is only made of three holes, also known as the "three holes flute". In Tajik, it is called "Strongnoy". "Stehon" means bone and "Noy" means flute.

The flute is about 25 centimeters to 26 centimeters. The whole Eagle flute is slightly bent. The diameter of one end is slightly larger, about 1.5 centimeters. The diameter of one end with a hole is smaller, about 1 centimeter. The Eagle Flute's tunes have fixed repertoire, such as "Chafu Suzi", "Twain", "Giglen", "Black Wuli", "Panamark", "Rebjerk" and so on during weddings and celebrations, and "Tengbaksuzi", "Valavalakoke" and other tunes while holding sheep; and when missing home and lover. Play the "Farak" tune; play the "Tarikan" tune when fellow Tajiks bury young people and prestigious people. In addition to playing missed tunes by one person and without accompaniment of drums, the other pieces are played by two people, and two women beat a drum. This drum is larger than the general drum, accompanied by different drums.

The tunes can be divided into 5/8 beats (Maurice Suzi), 6/8 beats (Wenliwen Ralik Suzi), 7/8 beats (Chafu Suzi), mostly half-tone. When the two play together, they play a whole tone. Fishtail-biting style is difficult to play, and C is the main tone. Although the eagle flute has only three holes, it can blow out seven syllables. The Eagle flute is a unique musical instrument of the Tajik nation. Its voice is clear, loud and very pleasant. Tajik drum is the main accompaniment instrument in Tajik dance. It is rare in other nationalities for two women to beat one side of the drum and play various drum points. Drum dots have fixed routines and names, such as "Alucatoman" and so on. Each set can produce complex and changeable artistic effects. During the grand horse race and goat-picking activities, many Eagle flutes played "Goat-picking Song", and many women played "Valavalachek" with multi-faceted drums at the same time, which made both riders and horses excited.

Main Forms

The main forms of Tajik Eagle dance are "Chafu Suzi", "Mailis", "Lapuyi" and so on.

"Chafu Suzi" means "fast and skilled" in Tajik. It refers to both rhythm and impromptu and competitive dance forms, representing the unique style of Tajik dance. Its performance is mainly two-person dance, lively form, dancers can move forward and backward freely, two or three groups of dance, men and women can also dance together. During the performance, one man invited another man to dance with him. They slowly moved along the edge of the venue, such as the two eagles hovering and flying. Then the rhythm turned fast, they chased and played with each other, and then they looked at each other close to their shoulders, walked fast, and suddenly jumped up and down, such as the eagle rising and falling, twisting and turning from low to high, rocking up, and finally the dance ended in the competitive rotation. These dynamic performances are obviously the relics and sublimation of the techniques of "Hu Xuan Dance" and "Hu Teng Dance" in Western Regions.

"Bullis" means "specific rhythm". It is a self-entertaining dance mainly composed of folk music accompaniment or folk song accompaniment. It is also often used to perform traditional storytelling folk songs. It is characterized by continuous rotation in situ. Women especially like it.

"La Puyi" is a special form of dance accompanied by only one Jewafu in the family. Sometimes it is also performed outdoors. The accompaniment mostly uses the tune of Chafu Suzi. The accompanist can also perform while dancing. The dancing movements are free and light. The highly skilled performers can put Jewafu on their shoulders to play and dance. This may be a relic of the music and dance tradition of the Western Regions.

Inheritance and Protection

Inheritance value

Tajik Eagle Dance has high social and educational value and is a valuable resource of traditional Chinese sports. This traditional sports activity has become an indispensable form of fitness for Tajik people in addition to festival activities and labor. It is an important part of the people's lives of the Tajik people and has a profound impact on the Tajik people living here for generations.

Heritage figures

Maimuhan Adili, female, Tajik, born in 1953 in Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County, Xinjiang. The second batch of national intangible cultural heritage projects are representative inheritors of Tajik Eagle Dance. Maimuhan Adili grew up in the family of Eagle dancers and studied Eagle dancing with his father Adili Kuzibayi as a child. She is familiar with the performance form and skills of Eagle Dance, fully mastered the various dance methods of folk Eagle Dance, familiar with various tunes of Eagle Dance, and also good at hand drums and a variety of Tajik folk instruments.

Kurban Tohotashi, male, Tajik, born in 1931, is a native of Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County, Xinjiang. The second batch of national intangible cultural heritage projects are representative inheritors of Tajik Eagle Dance. Kurban Tohotashi inherited his father's skills of Eagle dancing and flute playing. He mastered all kinds of Tajik folk dances, such as Eagle dancing, and was recognized as an excellent folk singer and dancer of Tajik nationality. His hawk dance is graceful. It can dance with others as well as alone. It also can sing and dance. It embodies the ancient style of hawk dance. He is also good at playing Eagle flute and drums.

protective measures

At the end of March 2017, the Xinjiang Art Research Institute formed a rescue protection team of 15 people to Wacha Township, Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County, the hometown of Kurban Tohotasi, the inheritor of Eagle Dance, and the inheritance site. Based on the Standard of "Operational Guidelines for Rescue Records Project of National Representative Inheritants of intangible Cultural Heritage", the Tajik Eagle Dance was collected and filmed centrally at the national level. Representational successors Kurban Torre and the rescue documentary of Tajik nationality protect Tajik hawk dance to a large extent.

social influence

Important activities

On August 19, 2012, the "Four Joint Exhibition" of Shanghai Cultural Week in Kashgar opened at the Kashgar International Exhibition Center, where Tajik Eagle Dance was displayed.

The Tajik Eagle Dance was displayed in Beihai Park, Beijing, on the occasion of the Spring Festival in 2019.