82km far from the northern Congjiang County of southeast of Guizhou, Zengchong Drum Tower is one of the most feature architecture in Zengchong Dong village. The Zengchong drum tower is situated on the river side, embraced by old stage, rain and bridge and Diaojiaolou.
The drum tower originally built in 1672 of Qing Dynasty, covering an area of 160 square meters, with 13 levers and 25 meters in height. The backbones of drum tower are four large cedar pillars ,each in 0.8 meters diameter and 15 heights which strutting with many small uprights, eaves and brackets formed the 13 levers of tower upon the pillars and uprights, and the top is laid a big leather drum. The drum will be beaten to gather all villagers in festival, counsel or other big days. Thus, drum tower is the meeting place for important issue; but pubic place for leisure while in common day.
Function of Zengchong Drum Tower
Drum tower takes a very important function of life in Dong villages. It is not only the public center of political counsels, but also the public place of break, worship, celebration, and performance. When there is a dispute or case, the drum tower will the tribunal. If there is any emergency, the drum tower will be the command post. Besides, the drum tower also the best location of youth for romantic relation.
Ten main function of Zengchong drum tower:
a, Gathering for Counsel
b, Beaten Drum for Notify
Beaten drum for notify can be divided in caution of bad news and announce of good news. Dong people could notice the meaning of news from drum sound
c, Mediate Disputes
With long time influence of gentile constitution, there is particular mediate disputes system built in Dong village mainly charged by elders and notable in village and witnessed by all villagers in drum tower historically.
d, Antiphonal Singing of Kam Grand Choirs
e, Performance of Lusheng dance
Lusheng dance is a kind of dance in Dong style, playing Lusheng instrument while dancing. The dance is popular entertainment in Dong and Miao village and played in most big celebrations.
f, Break, Narrate Legends and stories, Impart skill of farming, singing, playing opera.
g, Storage of Lusheng
h, Lost & Found
When villager find the lost and do not know the owner, they will put the lost in drum tower. The owner can find the lost in drum tower.
I, Storage of Bull Horn
When the fighting bull is died, village will put its horn on the drum tower the symbol of unity and possession.
j, Charity of Straw Sandals
Straw sandals were the mainly shoes for labors in ancient China which are easily broken. Villagers will hang some sandals on the wall of drum tower that passengers can take for use in anytime.