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Song Jiang Battle Array

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    Origin of Song Jiang Battle Array

    Nei-men kung-fu is famous throughout Taiwan. Although its population is only about 18,000, it has about 43 teams of folk art arrays. Almost every family has members working in the folk art performance. Whether it be Song Jiang Battle Array, dragon dance, lion dance, drum dance, or even nanguan, Taiping songs, Nei-men is the right place for you to come and show what you've got!

    Song Jiang Battle Array is a kind of folk art array with martial arts essence, which is mostly seen in farming communities south of Jia-Nan Plain and was a civil martial arts team in early Taiwan. The legend is that the Array was transformed from the soldier battle array trained by Koxinga, and it was also a powerful local protection team. But now it has become a performing art array in front of carried Buddha statue. Primary musical instruments in the Song Jiang Battle Array performance include gong, drum, and cymbals. During practice and performance, the armories are all attached with spells to prevent any possible accidents causing injury to the performers and at the same time possess the function of banishing disasters and eliminating evils. The most popular kinds are arrays with 36 or 72 people; there is a rumor that a 108-people array can easily cause accidents.
    Origin of Song Jiang Battle Array Legendary Song Jiang Battle Array

    Armory and Array Form

    * Dragon array  
        Dragon array is also called dragon dance, which evolved from Bai-Si in Nan-Bei Dynasty. Through maneuvering the dragon, which symbolizes fortune, and imitating dragon's serpentine and swift movements, the goals of festival celebration, public entertainment, and a prayer for prosperous harvest are achieved. Dragon array at Nan-hai Zi-jhuu Temple is called Five-Claw Gold Dragon, with a total length of about 60 meters and is separated into 13 sections. There is even an installation at the dragon mouth that sprays dry ice and water. Armory and Array Form
    * DrumDance
        The drum dance is also called flower drum dance or big drum, which is primarily focused on drum beating and leaping and can be seen mostly in Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Pintung. The traditional drum dance usually includes 7-10 people; there has also been some changes in recent years where more team members are added to the dance array. Due to the great amount of lung vital capacity needed for the drum dance, the arrays are mostly formed by young people in the village. Little drums and gongs create a bustling atmosphere while the music and dance moves are filled with energy and charm.
    Cow Plowing Array
        Cow Plowing Array is also called Cow Plowing Song, which includes songs and dances inspired by farming chores. Characters in the array would sing and dance with each other with teasing and flirting. The cow tending guy carries the cow amidst the singing and dancing as if he is tilling the field. At the same time, funny old grandpa and grandma are running admist the performance to heat up the atmosphere.
    * Nanguan Array
        Nanguan Array is an array with pure music and is popular in the Min-nan region. Instruments used include Chinese Bamboo Xiao, pipa, er-xian, san-xian, siang-jhan, si-kuai, and flat drum, and the instruments are collectively called Eight Music. The performance includes instrument playing and singing with elegant and tender music. 
    * Song Jiang Lion Array
        SLion Awakening Arrayis the so-called lion dance that has extremely high entertaining value, and it is an irreplaceable array during New Years, holidays, and divinity-welcoming festivals. Lion Array in Nei-men would sometimes be integrated with Song Jiang Battle Array, and thus it is also called Song Jiang Lion. The performance content is focused on the battle between people and lions, and is different from ordinary lion dance groups.
    * Tian-zi-men-shan Array
        Tian-zi-men-shan Array includes Taiping Song Array and Ci-li-siang Array. Instruments and melodies in Taiping songs are mostly similar to those of nanguan, but there are three additional humorous and funny characters in Taiping songs, providing the audience a hilarious short play. Ci-siang Array is also called Ci-siang, and its songs are more vulgarized. Besides the instrument playing, there are also an actor, an actress and a clown who sing and dance in the performance of Da-ci-siang.
    * Big Drum Array
        Big Drum Array is separated into two types, with one being the traditional Gong Drum Array, where a bigger drum is used. The drum beating of Big Drum Array is coupled with cymbal and gong, creating thundering sounds. The array is primarily placed as the leader of a parade, so it is also called Leading Drum Array. This array is usually in the very front of a pilgrimage parade.
    Tian-zi-men-shan Array Big Drum Array
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