客往竹溪去

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秦风楚韵源远流长

地处秦巴山区的湖北竹溪县,地如其名:茂林修竹,溪水潺潺。

竹溪县东周属庸国、西汉谓武陵。她脚踏鄂渝陕三省,充满神奇。历史的变迁,积淀了竹溪瑰丽多彩、丰实厚重的文化底蕴。古庸文化、秦楚文化、秦巴文化、巴楚文化、巴山文化、汉水文化在这里交融汇聚,她与巴蜀文化结盟,与荆楚文化相承,与庸秦文化交流,与中原文化汇集,语言杂秦蜀,风气兼南北,亦秦亦楚,亦巴亦蜀,形成南北交融、东西荟萃的区域文化特色,留下灿若星河、多元丰富的文化遗产。

大山、大水、大人文。秦风楚韵、历久弥新的西皮二黄,采采皇木、 奉之如玉的贡木谷慈孝沟,连横合纵、朝秦暮楚的楚长城,蜀盐北运、贡茶北上的盐茶古道,苍古粗粝,原生纯净的向坝民歌,陶公笔下、世外境地的桃花源地……包隐着竹溪历史悠久而神秘的色彩。

从十堰站转大巴至竹溪,如今可走谷(城)竹(溪)高速,耗时3小时左右。谷竹高速于2014 年 12月 26日正式通车,时间比以往的线路快了2个小时。

记者在十堰客运站购票,至竹溪的票价79元,加上1元附加保险。“没通高速的时候,要走五六个小时的山路,这种山路,开车的比坐车的舒服。”大巴司机告诉记者。

时值暑假期间,沿途经过的小镇,均有拖着行李的年轻人下车。“如 果不是通高速,以往回家才麻烦。”在武汉读大学的小李告诉记者,“以前从武汉回趟家,山路特别难走,到家基本上都是晚上。”

过去山区交通闭塞,人们日出而作,日落而息,几乎过着与世隔绝的日子。如今交通日益便利,山里的人们与外界的联系也渐渐多起来。

名茶之乡造福乡民

竹溪是全国500个资源富县之一,植被覆盖率81.2%,森林覆盖率76.8%,全县活立木蓄积量超过 800万立方米,居湖北省各县之首。

境内地势南高北低,属北亚热带季风气候,年平均气温在

It took you 79 yuan to take a coach from Shiyan Bus Ter­mi­nal to Zhuxi, plus 1 yuan for the life in­surance. “When there was no high­way, we used to spend 5 or 6 hours on the moun­tain­ous road, on which the driv­ers feel more com­fort­able than pas­sen­gers.” The coach driver said.

As it was dur­ing the summer vo­ca­tion, many young men, car­ry­ing bag­gage, could be found go in and off at each sta­tion. “But for the high­way it would be trou­ble­some to go home.” Xiao Li, who was a stu­dent in one of uni­ver­si­ties in Wuhan, told us. “In the past, it was so hard to walk through the moun­tain­ous path that nearly ev­ery time I didn’t ar­rive un­til night fell.”

In the days when the traf­fic is ut­terly back­ward, the vil­lagers lived an iso­lated life, go­ing out to work at sun­rise and go­ing back home at sun­set. To­day the con­nec­tion be­tween vil­lagers and the outer world is on the in­crease as the traf­fic be­comes con­ve­nient.

A Land of Tea Trees, Ben­e­fit­ing the Vil­lagers

In China, there are 500 coun­ties rich in nat­u­ral re­sources and Zhuxi is listed among them. The rates of vege­ta­tion and for­est cov­er­age are 81.2% and 76.8% re­spec­tively and the tim­ber stock is over 8,000,000 steres which tops No.1 among all other coun­ties in Hubei.

The ter­rain of Zhuxi is high in the south and low in the north. It be­longs to the north sub­trop­i­cal cli­mate and its

12℃ 16℃. an­nual av­er­age tem­per­a­ture is be­tween and It has the typ­i­cal moun­tain cli­mate with am­ple rain­fall and mild cli­mate, pro­vid­ing a fa­vor­able en­vi­ron­ment for tea plant­ing.

Zhuxi has a long his­tory of plant­ing tea. It was first en­ti­tled “the Land of Tea in China” and later “the County of Chi­nese Or­ganic Green Tea”. Tea has al­ready be­come one of its shin­ning “green card” of Zhuxi.

In Zhuxi, tea is re­garded as one of the pil­lar in­dus­tries which can raise up the farm­ers’ in­come and im­prove the agri­cul­tural ef­fi­ciency. Or­ganic green tea plays a dom­i­nant role. Now tea plan­ta­tions oc­cupy a land of 220,000 mu (146.7 square kilo­me­ters), which is the largest in Hubei prov­ince.

There are two main tea com­pa­nies in Zhuxi now, one is called “Long­wangya” and the other is named “Meizigong”. In 2016, both of them were en­ti­tled “the Thirty most Beau­ti­ful Tea Plan­ta­tions in China” by the tea sub-coun­cil of China As­so­ci­a­tion for the Pro­mo­tion of In­ter­na­tional Agri­cul­tural Co­op­er­a­tion (CAPIAC).

Af­ter driv­ing over 10 kilo­me­ters from Zhuxi County to­wards the south­east, you can reach Long­wangya Tea Plan­ta­tion. Far off, the Plan­ta­tion is deeply em­braced by sur­round­ing moun­tains cov­ered by green pines and bam­boos; Near, a belt of green tea ter­races stretches over the slope, which con­sti­tutes a splen­did green rib­bon of tea world. Once you step in, you will be sur­rounded by a sea of tea, trees of tea, tea leaves and the smell of tea… In a word,

12℃ ~16℃之间,山地气候的特色比较明显,雨量充沛,气候温和,具有得天独厚的茶叶生长环境。

竹溪种植茶叶的历史悠久,先后被誉为“中国名茶之乡”“中国有机绿茶之乡”“中国茶叶名县”,茶叶已成为竹溪的“绿色名片”。

茶叶是竹溪农业增效、农民增收的支柱产业之一,以生产有机绿茶为主。现有茶园22万亩,位居全省第一,其中投产茶园面积已达13万亩。

竹溪现有“龙王垭”和“梅子贡”两家茶叶龙头企业,2016年,两家茶园均被中国农业国际合作促进会茶产业委员会评为“全国三十座最美茶园”。

从竹溪县城往东南行驶十多公里,即可到达龙王垭观光茶园。极目远眺,山峦苍翠挺拔,起伏连绵。近处可见,一片片绿油油的梯田茶园随着山势延伸开来,层层叠叠,线条优美,宛如一条条宽阔的绿带,十分壮观。踏入其中,茶海、茶树、 茶叶、茶香……五官感知的全是绿。

呼吸着新鲜的空气,在茶园漫步,茶园内的山、林、茶、花、云、鸟与茶园深厚的文化底蕴相得益彰。

小憩漫步觉得累时,可以到茗箭楼茶艺厅,沏一壶龙王垭茶,在幽雅古筝的奏鸣中,伴随着年轻淳朴的茶艺师纯熟的茶艺表演,感受古人诗情画意的生活,意境高雅。喝完茶后,可以在龙凤湖边漫步,欣赏碧波荡漾的湖水,还可以在钓鱼台上看湖中活蹦乱跳的鱼儿。

非遗文化灿若星辰

竹溪民间文艺蕴藏量之丰富,品种之繁多,艺术形式之奇特,这与楚人的起源和楚文化的渊源密不可分。

民歌,是历史悠久的民间艺术之一。在内容上反映了劳动人民的生活和意愿;在形式上体现了劳动 人民的审美和艺术创造。从古至今,它在农村文化生活中占有重要的地位。

有“汉剧之母”之称的“山二黄”又名“汉调二黄”,是流行于鄂西北地区的皮黄剧种,是湖北省稀有地方剧种,被列入第一批国家级非物质文化遗产扩展项目名录。

竹溪县山二黄老艺人童觉平(1900~1983)祖籍为黄州府罗田县。其家于乾隆中期迁居竹溪县城,始以经商营生,至第三代即以传唱山二黄出名。

时至今日,竹溪县山二黄剧团是以专门创作演出“山二黄”剧目的专业艺术表演团体,也是目前全国唯一一个创作演出“山二黄”剧目的艺术表演团体。

除了山二黄,竹溪县向坝乡被省民间文艺家协会命名为“省级民歌之乡”。2013年,被列为湖北省第四批非物质文化遗产名录项目。

all you can feel is green.

Ram­bling in the tea world, you can en­joy the fresh air and have a good time here. The hills, groves, tea, flow­ers and birds per­fectly match the tea cul­ture.

When you feel tired and pre­fer to have a rest, you can go to the hall of tea pavil­ion in Mingjian Tower. Here, you can ex­pe­ri­ence an an­cient po­etic life by ask­ing for a cup of tea ac­com­pa­nied by the Chi­nese Zither mu­sic and the per­for­mance of young tea masters. Af­ter tast­ing the tea, you can wan­der around the “Longfeng Lake” , ap­pre­ci­at­ing the land­scape. Also, there is a plat­form for fish­ing where you can see a school of fish swim­ming in the lake.

In­tan­gi­ble Cul­tural Her­itage, Sparkling in the Hu­man World

The lo­cal folk arts in Zhuxi are char­ac­ter­ized of abun­dance, rich­ness and pe­cu­liar­ity, which are closely re­lated to the ori­gin of peo­ple and cul­ture of Chu.

Folk song, one form of the folk arts, en­joys a long­est his­tory. It re­flected the life and willpower of work­ing class in con­tent, and also showed the aes­thetic stan­dard and artis­tic cre­ation in form. It plays an im­por­tant po­si­tion in ru­ral cul­ture, to­day and in the past.

“Moun­tain Erhuang”, also named “Erhuang in the tune of Han Opera” is the ori­gin of what we called “Han Opera”. It is a kind of opera pop­u­lar among the north­west of Hubei Prov­ince. As a rare lo­cal opera, it was listed into the direc­tory of the first na­tional in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural her­itage.

Tong Jueping ( 1900- 1983) is a vet­eran artist of Moun­tain Erhuang in Zhuxi County whose an­ces­tral home was Loutian County, the Pre­fec­ture of Huangzhou. And they moved here dur­ing Qian­long pe­riod. At first, they made a liv­ing on busi­ness. They were not fa­mous for per­form­ing Moun­tain Erhuang un­til the third gen­er­a­tion.

To­day, the Opera Troupe of Moun­tain Erhuang in Zhuxi County is a pro­fes­sional art group, and the only one that cre­ates and per­forms Moun­tain Erhuang in China.

Ex­cept for Moun­tain Erhuang, Xiangba Town­ship was en­ti­tled “Land of Folk Songs in Hubei Prov­ince” by the As­so­ci­a­tion of the Folk Artists in Hubei Prov­ince. In 2013, it was listed into the fourth direc­tory of in­tan­gi­ble cul­tural

her­itage in Hubei Prov­ince. Han Shao­gong, a fa­mous writer said: “Xiangba folk song is the only liv­ing fos­sil of Han na­tion­al­ity.”

Gen­er­ally the vil­lagers in Xiangba like to hold the bon­fire par­ties to en­ter­tain guests. Al­though it was rain­ing that night when we ar­rived, the vil­lagers were still hos­pitable and en­thu­si­as­tic and in­sisted on hold­ing the party. With the pat­ter­ing of rain, the whole val­ley echoed with sonorous singing.

Zhouxi Shadow Play, also known as clas­si­cal car­toon drama, is sim­i­lar to Shanxi and He­nan Shadow Play in its shape and style which best il­lus­trates the cul­tural ex­change be­tween the three prov­inces.

In the old days, Zhouxi shadow play was very pop­u­lar. It was closely re­lated with some lo­cal cus­toms and cer­e­monies, es­pe­cially in wor­ship­ping gods and an­ces­tors. The shadow play per­for­mance could be found in many folk ac­tiv­i­ties and even at wed­dings or fu­ner­als.

Zhuxi, a po­etic name it is! In Zhuxi, it seems that even a road, a clump of flow­ers, a piece of tea, a house or an el­der all have their sto­ries to tell you.

At that night , af­ter it stopped rain­ing, we looked out­side the win­dow and sur­pris­ingly found a hazy moon hang­ing in the dusky sky. With bird’s singing in the dis­tance, the clouds changed their shapes con­stantly. it made us for­get where we were. 著名作家韩少功在考察向坝民歌项目后认为: “向坝民歌是中国汉民族仅存的一块活化石。”

向坝民歌篝火晚会,是山区人民迎接来客的特有方式。当晚,大雨如注,村民们热情不减,篝火晚会依然如期举行。伴随着滴答雨声,高亢的民歌在山里回响。

不得不提的还有古典卡通大戏——皮影戏。竹溪皮影的形制及风格与陕豫皮影相似,是陕豫鄂三地民间文化交流融合的结果。

过去,竹溪县皮影戏非常流行,与当地祭祀请神、酬神还愿的风俗习惯有着千丝万缕的联系,民间习俗活动以及红白喜事助兴,都少不了皮影戏班。

竹溪,一个诗意的名字。一条路,一丛花,一片茶,一所房屋,山中老人仿佛都能给来者道明一个出处。

是夜,倚窗远望,阵雨过后,竟然立刻出现一轮朦胧月亮,云层变幻无穷,远处不时传来鸡鸣鸟叫,让人几乎忘了身居何处。

● Shadow Play Photo by Wang Daguo 皮影(王大国摄)

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