Traditional Ewenki ethnic culture thrives in the new era

2021-03-19 (chinadaily.com.cn)

Xiaolu Art Troupe is committed to inheriting and promoting the traditional culture of the Ewenki ethnic group.

In the hinterland of Northeast China's Heilongjiang province and North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region lives a mysterious ethnic group who survive by raising reindeer. They are China's last hunting tribe, the Ewenki ethnic group.

The Ewenkis had only a spoken language and no written script before they learned how to write in the Manchu script. Today, they use both Mandarin and Mongolian.

With a relatively small population of around 40,000, the Ewenki people inhabit an area that is favorably bestowed with forests, farmland and mineral resources.

As times change, the production and lifestyle of the Ewenki people have undergone tremendous changes.

"Our life is getting better and better, but we are also facing challenges to protect and inherit our ethnic culture,” according to Una, 56, the head of the Xiaolu Art Troupe and a representative inheritor of Ewenki narrative folk songs.

The Xiaolu Art Troupe has more than 70 members, ranging in age from 4 to 16 years old. 

Among the members are Ewenki, Han, Mongolian, Russian, Daur and Manchu people. Their love for Ewenki ethnic culture has brought them together.

The art troupe promotes Ewenki ethnic culture by performing Ewenki traditional dances and songs with musical instruments. The group also exhibits classic Ewenki artwork.

In the past six years since the establishment of the art troupe, members have traveled from Hulunbuir Grassland to Beijing, Shanghai, Anhui, Tibet autonomous region and other places. 

They have appeared on the stages of China Central Television (CCTV) and been invited to perform in Japan and Mongolia.