Relics of many tales

By Wang Kaihao ( China Daily ) Updated: 2016-07-19 07:40:29

Relics of many tales

Zuojiang Huashan rock painting in Guangxi, July 15, 2016.

It took only six months to complete the environment improvement program to prepare the site and make it ready for the UNESCO application.

But despite the sacrifices of the locals, Gu is concerned that the local folk culture could be endangered.

"Huashan's rock art site is an important part of Zhuang's culture," he says. "So, if we do not preserve the traditions in the villages, the rock art will lose its roots."

As of now, most young people from Yaoda have left the area to seek jobs in cities and seem lukewarm when it comes to preserving traditional rituals, says Gan Shaogeng, a local folk musician.

And for the village, which relies on sugarcane and rice and where the annual income per capita is less than 10,000 yuan, it is still a priority to get rich.

But Gan sees the recent developments, including the UNESCO status, as a sign that things could change soon.

"The village can now better showcase our cultural heritage and even offer accommodation to tourists."

And with the rock art becoming a world heritage site, tourism will develop further. That may bring back the young people who've left, he says.

According to the plan of Ningming county government, infrastructure will be improved to build the site into a national scenic spot in 2017. The village recently got its first bar, and visitors have also begun taking early-morning boat rides to Yaoda to view the rock art and watch the fascinating rituals.

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