Yanhe dance: Yi people's distinctive folk dance in SW China

China's ethnic minorities are long known for their diverse and distinctive folk music and dancing styles. Here in southwest China's Yunnan Province, the Yi ethnic group boasts a unique dancing style with tobacco cases.

Yanhe dance, literally meaning tobacco case dance, takes round tobacco cases, usually made of bamboo and wood, as props. Dancers hold the upper and lower flaps of the case in the hand and make rhythmic sounds with their fingers alongside music played with Sixian, a traditional instrument with four strings.

The performance became an important part of events like weddings, funerals, and religious sacrifices. Its cultural value has been widely recognized across the country and was listed as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2006.

Read more: Flower-drum dance, a living fossil of ethinic Yi people's folk traditions

About the "Go! Yunnan" series:

Yunnan Province in southwest China boasts spectacular natural landscapes, biodiversity and diverse ethnic groups. Among China's 56 recognized ethnic groups, 25 are in Yunnan. This livestream series will take you on tour to six cities or autonomous prefectures in Yunnan to see the little-known food, scenery and folk customs. Stay tuned for our upcoming livestreams!

(Cover is a screenshot from the video. Video filmed by Liu Yang and Liu Ming, edited by Liu Guihu and Zhao Ying.)