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China Perspectives
Zouma Town Folklore

Zouma Town Folklore


Zouma is a small town west of Chongqing City. People in Zuoma who drive horses for a living have created a kind of folk story.

Merchants in ancient times frequently passed through Zuoma on their way to the mysterious Tibetan Plateau. Because of this, people in Zuoma made their living transporting goods on horseback. With this information Zuoma stories can be dated to no later than the beginning of theQing Dynasty(1644-1911AD). Zouma means "horse-trotting" in Chinese. People say the road to Shu, inSichuan Province, is even steeper than the road to heaven, and horses were the only way to transport goods through the area. Zuoma folklore is filled with adventures and romances not ordinarily found in other Chinese folklore because of the dangerous route so many people from Zuoma had to navigate regularly. Zuoma folklore varies from fairytales and stories of mountain spirits to ancient customs and the unique, historical BaShu totem cult common in the area.

According to 1980s statistics, at that time there were over 10,000 stories, 9,714 of which had been recorded. There were about 300 people who could tell the stories orally.

In 1992 Zuoma was named the "Home of Folklore" by the city of Chongqing. Zuoma Folklore is under consideration for UNESCO"s Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity status.

 

 
   
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