Inner Mongolia, Sea of Songs and Dances  

The Mongolians have a great tradition of music and dance. Their folk songs, describing feelings and events, are known for their high pitched lovely melody and free rhythms and beat.

The dynamic and graceful dances of Mongolian girls portray the nomadic life of the grassland. Typical of these are well known dances such as, Dance on Horseback, Lantern Dance, and "Wedding Dance of Oreduaosi. One of the folk instruments is made in the shape of a horse head. It is called "Matouqin" and is usually played by men. The sweet sounds they make remind us they have a softer side to their personality in addition to their strength and bravery.

Dance is always closely connected with song. According to history, the earliest dance in Inner Mongolia was named tage (stamping feet accompanied by singing). The pastoral life and the work of the herdsmen became the other source for dance there. The male dances in Inner Mongolia are rugged, lionhearted, and full of power. The famous male dances are the horse and sword dance, the hawk dance, and the roughrider dance. Every movement in the dance shows the audience the beauty in power, virile and work.

In the powerful dance, the hawk and the horse are the two most important roles. Genghis Khan looked on the hawk as the God of War, which could guarantee him victory. Now, people still regard the hawk as a symbol of victory. Wrestlers today go onto the racing field imitating the hawk jump, which, they believe, can enhance their confidence. In some areas, the ceremony of "jumping white hawk" is held to cure uncommon diseases of people.

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