Dasitan of the Uygur People

Dasitan is a form of Quyi popular among the Uygur people in Xinjiang and boasts a long history.Dasitanis a Uygur term and it means a long poem that relates an event. As a category of Quyi, it has the basic feature of being a rhymed story of great length.

The reason why a narrative long poem became adapted to the Quyi form with singing and story telling is that the Uygur people borrowed the big song cycle or divertimento from an ancient suite of stories called the Mukam. As early as the third down to the seventh centuries, the Uygurs, who inhabit the Xinjiang region of China, sang Alifu Airdueahas a Dasitanrecital. This is a story about the exploits of a Uygur national hero, and since then it has become a tradition to use Dasitanto extol heroes.

Dasitanis performed by one to three persons. The chief singer accompanies himself on the Rewalu,Dutaer,Danboer or Shadaer(all stringed instruments). Meanwhile, musicians beat the hand drum or stone chimes. The performances are given at temple fairs, market places, teahouses or dinner parties.Manas, the traditional epic of the Kirgiz people, who are also inhabitants of the Xinjiang region, is also performed and transmitted in the form of Dasitan.

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