Single-bamboo-pole drifting is a designated national sport. It entails
standing on a floating Moso bamboo pole on the water's surface, and propelling
it with a thin stick of bamboo. Adept drifters are able to go back, forward and
around on the pole with ease.
This pastime originated in the Wujiang drainage area 100 years ago and later became popular among people of ethnic minorities in northern Guizhou Province in China's southwest. Guizhou's high mountains and deep valleys maintained a constant state of flooding in the Wujiang drainage area which made traveling out of the area difficult. Local inhabitants overcame the problem by chopping down Moso bamboo logs and drifting along on them down the river. Upon reaching the bazaar on the lower reaches of the Wujiang River, they would sell their bamboo conveyance. The practice survives to this day.
Once described as a water ballet, single-bamboo-pole drifting is the entertainment highlight of Fuchunjiang resort in Zhejiang Province.
|Single-bamboo-pole drifting exponents display their skills on the Niuchang River of Yuqing county in Guizhou Province on July 18, when dozens of single-bamboo-pole drifters performed on the water. [xinhua]|
|Two single-bamboo-pole drifters do the splits on floating bamboo poles in Guizhou Province on July 18. [xinhua]|
|Three single-bamboo-pole drifting exponents keep their balance while spinning fabric on one finger. [xinhua]|
The Moso bamboos that grow along the Chishui River in Guizhou Province are the best for bamboo drifting. One bamboo pole can support as much as 60kg to 75kg. Those in Fuchunjiang resort of Zhejiang are less hardy, and the deep, strong current in the Fuchunjiang River creates a challenge for bamboo drifting performers. But Xiao Yang and Xiao Luo nonetheless never fail to amaze tourists in Fuchunjiang with their splits, bow-step, rising-pole and pole-hopping drifting specialities.
(Source: wmgmw.cn, xinhuanet/ Translated by
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