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Chongqing Culture

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Overview
Chongqing is a famous city with a long history and a brilliant culture. There are many ancient ruins, ancient tombs, ancient buildings, grottoes, and temples, and tens of thousands of collections of cultural relics.

The Chongqing Museum has nearly 500 National Grade 1 relics and 100,000 National Grade 3 relics. The Chongqing Museum of Natural History leads China with its collection of 100,000 specimens of rare plants and animals including fossils of vertebrate animals such as 24 kinds of dinosaurs from the Jurassic period.

Bayu Culture is one of the special ethnic cultures along the upper reaches of Yangtze River. The origin of Bayu Culture came from Ba culture. Ba people lived and fought in the mountains and river valleys. Living in this tough environment these people developed a tenacious character for which they are famous even today.

Ancient Ba people were good at singing and dancing and many of thier dances developed while they were fighting battles.  Gradually this kind of dance became  popular in the court of the Emperors and until the Han dynasty, Bayu dance was one of the required court dances at banquets. It was group dancing which was rough and vigorous and changed continuously.

Along the Yangtze River from Chongqing to Wushan the river is often narrow with many reefs and dangerous shoals. In those days boats could only be pushed or pulled upriver through the rapids and currents. It was very hard work with from 10 to 100 men tracking the boats as they strained against the currents. As they strained they sang in rhythm with their movements which developed into the ‘working song’ called ‘Haozi’ lead by the leading tracker.

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The Daxi Culture in eastern Chongqing and the Tongliang Culture in western Chongqing are representative of the cultures of the Old Stone Age and the New Stone Age in central and west China. The fossils and stone articles of the Wushan Ape Man of more than 2 million years ago, unearthed from the ruins of Longgupo in Wushan, are of great value for the study of the origins of mankind.

Chongqing is proud of its rich folklore and culture represented by the dragon dance in Tongliang, the lantern shows in Xiushan, the drums and gongs of the Tujia people, the folk songs sung in the fields during and after work in Mudong, and the traditional musical instruments in Jielong.

Chongqing has many folk arts well-known to the world.

The top 10 folk arts are Dragon dance of Tongliang, Dazu’s carved stone, Qijiang’s hands winding dance, boatman’s song, Xiushan’s festive lantern, Chongqing’s beating (Jielong. Gold Bridge), Jiulong two pairs, Xiaohe gong and drum, Liangping three arts (Liangshan light, bamboo curtain pictures, New Year pictures), Square story (Shapingba) .

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