Preservation Plan Hammered Out

Cultural relics preservationists are pushing a plan to replicate the production of bronze drums, used for more than 2,000 years during weddings, festivals and sacrificial rites.

There are roughly 3,000 bronze drums throughout the country, and many are damaged, according to Xinhua news agency.

“If no countermeasures are taken, it is feared that damaged drum bells will be discarded as useless,” said Liang Fulin, head of a cultural relics management department in Guangxi

Zhuang Autonomous Region’s Hechi Prefecture, known as the “home” of bronze drums.

Liang said it is not advisable for the central government to continue banning the use of drums to protect them.

Ethnic groups, such as the Zhuang, Yao and Miao, have used bronze drums for generations, he said. “Without bronze drums, their unique dances, songs and customs will gradually disappear,” Liang added.

“We plan to make new drums to replace the damaged ones,” he said, adding that the destroyed drums can be sent to museums.

Liang said his department plans to work with Beijing University of Science and Technology and the China Association for Ancient Bronze Drums on the effort.

( 11/06/2000)

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