Some New Leads

In my conversation with Professor Hsieh Shi-Wei, which I mentioned briefly in an earlier post, he suggested that I try to see a type of ritual performance warfare called Song Jiang Zhen.  Unfortunately the season for these performances ended just before I got here, but I'm going to try to meet some people involved with this tradition this weekend near Tainan.  Here is breif article about this art.  He said one of Kristofer Schipper's students has done work on the many types of Song Jiang Zhen, but I believe the work is published in French (Daniel, want some homework?).

Everyday there is more Daoist Ritual and other Taiwanese ritual performance finding its way onto youtube.  I found this one just surfing around.  The first part appears to be a Daoist priest (Daoshi) doing a public ritual.  For some Zhengyi (orthodox) Daoshi this would be a violation of precepts but as I learned from reading an article by Daoist expert Lee Fong-Mao, the various communities of people who are served by Daoshi have different expectations of them, and some Zhengyi Daoshi do public ritual previously associated with "red hat"  Daoists.  Just to make it more confusing I don't know where the video is actually from or if every thing is from the same ritual.  However, the beginning "dance" does look martial and the martial art it looks the most like it Baguazhang.  The second part of the video shows too Tangki.  I'm not sure what deities they are possessed by but be careful you don't fall into trance watching this one.  They appear to be possessed by different deities.  Check out the movment they use for hitting their own looks a lot like a Tongbei gongfu move to me.