Because the ancient Miao minority had no written language, the whole epic has been orally handed down. The ancient songs are mostly sung in folk activities, wedding and funeral ceremonies, gathering of friends and relatives and folk festivals. Most of the actors are old people, wizard, singers, etc. It is usually carried out in the competition form and can be played successively for several days. The musical instruments for playing the background music are mainly Xiaotong, Mangtong and benches. It was not until the 1950s that the text written in the language of the Miao minority of the ancient songs was published. So far, the collected ancient songs of the Miao minority are approaching 300,000 characters.
Ancient Songs of the Miao minority reflects the Miao people's philosophical ideas of animism, sacredness of life, equality of human beings, and the harmony and coexistence between man and nature. It is also the encyclopedia that combines the history, ethics, customs, clothes, architecture, climate, etc., of the Miao minority. As a result, it is embedded of very high research values. So far, the ancient myths are still sung among the people.
The categorized Miao Ethnic Songs
According to their contents, the Miao’s folk songs can be categorized as follows: Youfangge (love song), Jiuge (toasting song), Kuge (bitter song), Ertongge (children’s song), Zangge (song for funeral), Laodongge, Miyuge, and Shizhengge (songs of labor, riddle and current politics), each with its own distinct melody. Feige (high in tone), popular in the northeast of Guizhou Province, is a special form of folk song performance.