Intoxicating Love Songs of Bouyei Ethnic Group

Intoxicating love songs in the county of waterfalls

Among all the natural sceneries all over China, the waterfalls in Guizhou province are most famous; and among the waterfalls in Guizhou province, those in the Buyi area are most beautiful and splendid. Therefore, the Buyi area is also called the county of waterfalls.

The world famous Huang Guoshu waterfall appears in a grand posture with shocking sounds and permeating mists. During the day, when the sun shines, the rainbow could be seen clearly as the river flows vertically as a pearl curtain descending from the heaven. The splendid scene could be viewed from all sides. Whether the tourists step upward or downward, they will be totally melted into scene and unwilling to leave. The height of the waterfall is 74m, and the width 81.2m. Because of its majestic posture and heavenly creation, it has appeared several times on the national name card-post stamps. People all over the world aspire for it. It situated on the Baishui River 15km away in the southwest of Zhenning Buyi and Miao autonomous county. The Baishui River has onrushing water, whose billowy waves are rolling to form the nine-grade waterfall in the section of Huang Guoshu since the riverbed splits at this area. Huang Guoshu Waterfall is the biggest grade among these nine grades.

Seven kilometers southwest to the Huang Guoshui Waterfall, there is the Guanling Waterfall with biggest fall. It is situated 4 km north to the Guanling Buyi and Miao autonomous county, and it is a pride of the Baling River Canyon. The waterfall consists of seven grades with the total fall of 410m. Each grade has its special features and charms. The first grade is the Silver Snake Waterfall like a silver snake wandering in the hill with vivid and various kinds of beauties; the second grade is the Cloudy Cliff Waterfall like water patting on the cloudy cliff, the waves and surfs flying fiercely; the third grade is the Sky Converging Waterfall as the waves ascending high to the sky and the water and cloud mixed together; the fourth grade is the Flying Skiff Waterfall as the water is so powerful that it could halt the flying skiff, it is the combination of dynamic and static; the fifth grade is the Fury Waterfall as the cloud is rising and the water is raging, which is quite a shocking scene; the sixth grade is the Dragon Waterfall like a dragon descending to the Longyan (dragon rock) with thunderous roar; the seventh grade is Dripping Waterfall like a fairy coming to the secular world with elegance and gentleness. 

At the cross border between Guanling county and Zhenning county, there is the Na Daguan Waterfall, which is also called the Guan Jiao Waterfall. It has 18 grades in all and the fall is 140 m. Because the canyon cut is more than 700m deep and full of pits, holes and small ponds, the sound is extremely loud like the thunder rumbling within the valley and shaking the hill and the ground. 

Besides, around the Huang Guoshu (Yellow Fruit Tree) Waterfall we can also find Dou Potang Waterfall, whose width is 105m at the top, 20m more than that of Huang Guoshu Waterfall. At Shui Liandong Waterfall in Guan Lingtai Hill, there is a huge cave behind the waterfall. Tourists can enjoy it in the cave as looking at the curtain with freshness. Feeling as a celestial being will drive away all the troubles. Da Shuyan Waterfall is formed by the strong spring from a mouth of a cave on the cliff after the Fan Hua River flows for 2 miles underground. The diameter of the mouth is around 7 or 8 meters and the height of the waterfall is more than 30 m. It looks like a dragon spitting out water fiercely and splendidly. Xia Guai Waterfall got its name to its position, which is at Xia Guai village of the Buyi people. Since it falls vertically from the top of the cliff for more than 20 meters, the water smashes on the rocks at the bottom and rebound like waves, forming the second grade waterfall. Lu Mei Waterfall was named after the wonderful scenes around; The Silver Cloth Falling into Pool Waterfall belongs to the type of water dropping from cave; Natual Born Bridge Waterfall also consists of two grades, one is Gui Hua River flows into the underground and vent from a cave on the cliff, the other is Gui Hua River falls directly from the cliff; the particularity of Luo Yelong Waterfall lies in its pool in autumn. The water is tinted with two colors; the north of the pool is bluish green while the south is light red and flowery yellow. The demarcation is quite clear.

In the stalactite caves of Buyi areas, there are not only colorful stalactites as if they are carved by natural spirits, but there is also plenty of water, which could form a river, then pond, and then waterfall. Around the scenery spots or the waterfalls, always can a Buyi village be found hidden in the canyon and the huge trees. The Buyi people are really living in the arms of nature. Verdant hills establish several layers of pictures for them; old trees prop up the sunshades for them; waterfalls prepare harps for them; gurgling streams are constantly singing for them. They are the sons of hills, daughters of the rivers, and brethren of the trees and flowers. They love their hometown and nature. They are simple and beautiful, and quite emotional. Their beauty is natural, harmonious, intoxicating, and admirable. 

While the young men and women are playing games and courting during their free time, they usually pick a piece of smooth leaf, and place it half rolling between the lips. With it they sing harmonious and pleasant melodies to express their love feelings. It seems that the leaf could understand the mind of people and it is willing to convey the admiration between sisters and brothers. Some youths also use “unrefined telephone” when singing love songs. The male and female will hold a section of bamboo respectively at two ends. One end of the bamboo is covered with a piece of sounding membrane (made of snake skin or thick paper). The two sections are connected by a thread of string, which can be as long as over a hundred meters. When one sings at this end, the other could hear clearly at the other end and others cannot hear it. Through this, the partners can communicate and talk privately without the embarrassment of staying together face to face. 

The love songs are usually plain and simple. If the singer does not have true feelings, he or she cannot perform well even with strenuous thinking. Here a paragraph in General Records of Chinese Culture is cited to prove this:

 Male:     Missing my girl too much to sleep, 
             River formed by tears of the weep,
             Hands dragged by ghosts when doing chores, 
             Feet pulled by spirits when walking asides.
 Female: Missing my lover and becoming impatient,
             Tears dropping while grinding the wheat,
             Mother asking why I am sobbing,
             Saying that chaff into the eyes flying.