Friday, May 1, 2015

Mei Shan Make Peace Drama (和梅山傩)

Mei Shan ceremonial drama is a type of religious activities meant for entertaining human and spirits alike. While a ‘make peace’ drama refers to an enactment of drama through rituals to make peace between spirits and human. There are three stages in having a make peace drama:

1.      To congregate spirits into an altar
2.      Performance drama to entertain spirits and human
3.      To make peace with spirits

Local folks think Mei Shan spirits are easily annoyed and once they are disturbed, these unforgiving spirits would create problems to human kind. So, a pacification ceremony is necessary.

In this ritual a magician (师公) would sing:


(Brother is making a make peace mudra in Mei Shan hall to make peace. Let us talk softly to make peace and let us not talk bad and hurt others.)

The first step is to evoke the Mei Shan spirits (请神). In the evocation process a magician would hold a ritual staff: ( in his right hand and then burns the talisman of Mei Shan King Hu (梅山胡大王) and then walks the below steps:

The second step is making sacrifices (祭神):

In this step, 5 sets of offerings are made to the 5 uncontrollable ones (五猖). The magician would disguise as the Mei Shan King and his assistants as the 5 uncontrollable ones. They would engage in a conversation similar to the below:

The master sings:


(Mei Shan on east route, your flag is green sitting at east;
Mei Shan on south route, your flag is red sitting at south;
Mei Shan on west route, your flag is white sitting at west;
Mei Shan on north route, your flag is black sitting at north;
Mei Shan on central route, your flag is yellow sitting at the center.
All spirits of 5 directions please take your seats...)

The master then says: “Are you 5 pigs here already?”
The 5: “Yes. We are all here.”

The master takes up a cup of wine and sings:


(A cup of wine pure and bright, tonight I accompany Mei spirits until the sprits laugh happily and hence protecting the owner in peace.)

He then takes up the rest of the 5 cups and do the same as above.

The master then asks:

“From where should I start making offerings?”

The 5: “From the east…”

The master (sings):


(I have drunk a cup of wine in front of the altar, I shall speak clearly and I shall not be long winded. One heartedly I respect the spirits, after that the spirits shall protect the owner.)

The third step is to meet military (会兵):

Now the master sings:


(You ask who the 9 barbarians are? I shall tell you their origins:
It was when the Xuan Yuan Emperor united the world,
He subdued the 9 Li tribes and they became the 9 barbarians.
They are so called: Big, small, square, yellow, red, black, white, wind and qiang.
You should know all their names. The pioneer is called ‘Bu De’ (布德), the green flag is the wood soldiers. The armies from the Qing state have arrived, they are led by Mr. Yellow…)

Following that, the master would dispatch the military (差兵) while singing and making below mudra:


(Your disciple:
If I do not command the military, they will not move.
They have taken off their red clothing and put on their armours.
They have chosen their war horses and their brave soldiers.
They have chosen their weapons.
Everything is readied for war…)

The final part of the drama is about making peace. In some places, the above ritual can take from a few hours to one whole day to be completed.

Sad to say, as time passes, this type of ceremonial drama is becoming things of the past as no one is willing to spend time learning up this difficult and time consuming art.

No comments:

Post a Comment