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Published: July 20th 2020
A Sanbang drum(Three sticks drum) is a local Tujia instrument, which is said to have evolved from the Fengyang flower drum. It first appeared in the Southern Song and Jin dynasties and prevailed in the Yuan dynasty. The show is generally performed by three people, who play drums, gongs and sticks respectively. Two sticks are used for drumming and one is used for the gongs, hence the name "Sanbang drum."
But in Wulong, the Sanbang drum players use sharp knives instead of sticks.
With rapturous allegro singing, Fu Xingbing, the inheritor of the Tujia Sanbang drum, a national cultural heritage, begins his performance. The shining silver steel is thrown high into the air, and the knife edge is so sharp that it sometimes even reflects light. In the face of the sharp knife, a calm Fu Xingbing catches it in his hand.
Afraid that the viewers might not be able to fully appreciate it, he makes difficult moves like the Golden Cockerel, and finally blindfolded himself and started throwing blind! The knife sails upward, causing people to gasp in astonishment. The blindfolded Fu Xingbing is still tossing the sharp knife, dazzling the eye, and
making the sweating audience unable to resist wild applause.
Fu Xingbing is the fifth-generation player of the Fu family's “three stick” drums. He began learning from his father when he was a child. He endured difficulty and studied hard, learning to throw stones, sticks, and knives. He started performing independently at the age of 17. In addition to ordinary sharp knives, he can also throw scythes, and kitchen knives, and has even practiced the blindfolded knife throwing stunt, which his father's generation dared not do.
Fu Xingbing wants to pass on this cultural heritage, so he performs at the Wulong Tiankeng Walled City all year round. He says that even if there is only one visitor, he will continue his performance.
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