The most famous buildings in Zhaoxing are the five drum towers. According to the tradition of the Dong people, each individual drum tower represents one group of local people. The head of the Dong people in Zhaoxing divided the people into five groups in order to make administration easier. The five towers represent kindness, righteousness, politeness, intellect and creditworthiness. Runtuan Drum-tower
Rentuan drum-tower has 7 stories, locating at the head of Zhaoxing. It covers an area of 104 square kilometers with the height of 18.47 meters. In Dong language, “tou” is called “gao”, and “zhai” is “zai”. So, Runtuan drum-tower is called “Lou Gao Zai” (louc gaos jaih-Dong language) in Dong language. That means the drum-tower of the head of the village. Rentuan Drum Tower is the place where the local Dong ethnic performance of singings and dancings will be held in the evening. You need to reserve a seat in advance. Ask your tour guide for more details.
The umbrella-shaped tower is also said to be an auspicious building that protects all Dong people. Individuals must take a drink of the water in the well in front of the tower before death. Only by drinking the water can an individual's spirit join his ancestors. If a person fails to drink from the well before death, their spirit will be left alone after death. Most local people believe this legend to a certain degree.
The lower pavilion of each tower is where villagers congregate during festivals and special meetings. People often gather there in the evenings, to listen to traditional folk songs. After harvests, young people hold festive dances on the grounds surrounding the drum tower.
The drum tower is the highest and most revered structure in the village. A giant drum within the tower served in the past as a warning device against invasions. In ancient times, villagers assembled at the tower with their weapons to await orders from the head of their clan.
The insides and outer caves of drum towers and covered bridges are often colorfully painted with scenes from Dong folk tales, legendary heroes, landscapes, animals and of activities such as ox-fighting and festive dancing. Aspects of daily life are likewise portrayed, such as playing musical instruments, hunting, spinning, weaving and dyeing, and the making of foods such as "baba". Carvings of dragons, snakes, tigers, geese, and occasionally even airplanes, ornament the roofs.
Traditions are passed down orally and the drum towers become an important link in the process. All summer the drum towers offer the villages cool water; in winter, a warm fire. After a day's work, people young and old gather there to reiterate ancestral legends, to narrate episodes of Dong history, or to teach traditionary folk songs and operas.
Zhaoxing Tang'An Chengyang
Culture of Dongs
Sanyuejie Festival Marriage Customs Music New Year Traditional costumes
Drum Towers Flower Bridges Lusheng Festival
Dong Houses Carrying the Governors Parade
Drama Rice Planting Traditional Common Law Worship the Goddess Sa Sui