Mupamipa: the Myth of Creation of Lagu Ethnicity 牡帕密帕

Date: 2006
Category: Folklore Literature
Region: Yunan Province
Project No. I-4
Name of Applicant (region or institution): Simao City, Yunan Province
Mupamima is a long-text, poetic myth of creation sung by Bokuogakuo of the Lagu Ethnicity, which circulates in Lancang Lagu Ethnicity Autonomous County, Simao, Yunan Province. The total poem falls into 17 stanzas, 2,300 lines, describing the creation of heaven, earth, the sun and the moon, the creation of all things and man, and living conditions of mankind during the primitive stage. It is a time-honored, premium dictation literature inherited by the people of Lagu Ethnicity.
Mupamima is usually sung by two chief singers, Kamuke (someone who is capable of chanting poems) and Moba (host of religious activities) and can also be performed by many together or by a dozen in turn. The words are lucid and terse, with fixed rhyming scheme and regular couplets. The tune is pleasing to ear and the tone varies as the region while the singing follows the words for tune, with sort of chant and narration. It is basically performed on traditional festivals of Lagu Ethnicity, at religious ceremonies or during the break of farming seasons. The singers put all their heart into it as they perform while the listeners seem to be intoxicated. The activities usually last throughout the night and all participants would be enjoying themselves very excitedly all along.
Mupamipa looms as an indispensible, invaluable asset of Lagu Ethnicity for historical and cultural studies; it also serves as the cultural carrier of Lagu Ethnicity as well as the bond of spiritual life of Lagu Ethnicity. However, due to the impact of modern culture, the myth of creation is now being endangered without people to inherit it. At present, only one to two persons can accomplish the whole performance in Lancang Lagu Ethnicity Autonomous County.
The folklore story-teller:
李扎戈 李扎倮
Li Zhage and Li Zhaluo

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