Hakka Lion Dance Performer | Chang Jian-an
Did You Know That …?
- Chang Jian-an is a traditional Hakka lion dance performer who is credited with fostering the Taiwanese public’s understanding and interest in the unique lion dance of the Hakka people.
- The Hakka lion dance is a unique form of lion dance introduced to Taiwan by immigrants from China during the Qing dynasty. Unlike Chinese lion dance, the Hakka version requires martial arts and incorporates elements of theater, dance, and music.
- To ensure the continuation of such tradition, Chang began to offer free martial arts training and lion dance courses in his hometown. Chang even turned his old house into a cultural center to introduce the history and culture of Hakka lion dance.
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The bulk of the lion head used in the Hakka lion dance is made with straw and mud.
The Hakka lion prop requires two people to operate – one for the head, and one for the tail.
The Hakka lion is always accompanied by two figures – Monkey (left) and Fool (right).
The performance involves martial arts and weaponry such as sai (two-pronged melee weapon), moon axe, guandao (bladed pole), and the Hakka floral umbrella.
Today, Chen’s Hsinchu Hakka Lion Dance Cultural Association (新竹縣客家武獅文化協會) helps to train members of the younger Hakka generation in their traditional lion dance.