Shan Culture: Yak dance (Ram Toe)

Culture Shan : danse du yack ou Ram ToeThe dance of the yak, or “Ram Toe” in Shan language, is performed under favourable omens. Yaks are intelligent, have a great ability to adapt, are easy to train and are considered to be the messengers of the gods.

The dance of the yak demands perfect harmony between the two performers playing the roles of the front and back legs. It is more difficult to be the back person; this performer must stoop all the time and follow the signals given by the front person. He needs, at the same time, strength and grace to carry out the different postures. In one part of the performance the audience is invited to participate by putting bank notes into the mouth of the animal.

The body of the animal is made up of thick, white skins. Particular care is taken in the making of the yak’s costume which takes about two weeks’ work to make.

 
 

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