Overview:Wooden drum towers are one of the ethnic features of the Dong Minority culture. The drum tower is the group's symbol, and is a significant venue for the clan's activities and official business discussions. Each village has a drum tower, with only the building style and height varying between places.
Where there is a Dong village, there is a drum tower. Wooden drum towers are one of the ethnic features of the Dong Minority culture. The drum tower is the group's symbol, and is a significant venue for the clan's activities and official business discussions. Each village has a drum tower, with only the building style and height varying between places. The numerous drum towers built in the center of Dong villages are symbols of Dong village.
Mapang Drum Tower
Located 28 km from Sanjiang County, Mapang Drum Tower is the most well-known ancient tower among the roughly 160 drum towers in and around Sanjiang region. The original Mapang Drum Tower was constructed during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and over the years has been damaged by fire several times. The drum tower that you see was rebuilt in 1943. It is especially elaborate; standing 13 stories high, decorated with carved dragons, phoenixes, flowers and birds.
Usually, the Tower is a place for Mapang villagers gathering. This is a civilized site contained the oldest culture of Mapang Village. People would like to come here for ceremonies, meetings, festival gathering as well as recreation activates. During festivals, the villagers will gather together in front of the Mapang Drum Tower, singing, dancing and performing on the lusheng, which is a reed pipe wind instrument used by the Miao, Yao, and Dong Nationalities.
Sanjiang Drum Tower
Hailed as "the first Dong drum tower in the world", Sanjiang Drum Tower, was completed in 2002 as a token of congratulation when it was the fiftieth anniversary of Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, is most famous among all ethnic minorities' drum towers in China. It provides the local Dong minority with a good site to undertake ethnic assemblies and festival cerebration.
The Drum Tower was exquisitely constructed by a folk architect team led by Dong Master Yang Siyu. The body of the tower is made up of wood without using any nail but marvelously keeps solid. It has four floors of viewing stand, with the highest one located at the 25th floor. On the foundation support of the tower, exquisite carvings reflecting the Dong's daily life can be seen. With the functions Dong minority culture's symbol and a famous tourist site, Sanjiang Drum Tower has made four records among its sister constructions:
* In height: The tower is 42.6 meters high.
* In floor: The pyramid-shape tower has 27 floors of turnup tile-eaves totally
* In area: The base of 600 square meters, together with its square, the tower cover an totol area of 4000 square meters.
* Backbone: Each of the four major pillars of the tower is over 70 cm in diameter, with two of them being 208 years old and the other two being over one hundred year. That is rare in traditional tower construction in China.