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Acting Like a God or a Ghost - Exorcism

In the beginning, all songs and dances were performed collectively But as time went by, specialists in singing or dancing emerged. Women singers and dancers were called witches, and men singers and dancers, wizards. In Chinese, "巫”is a pictorgraphic charactor, symbolizing a person holding the tail of an ox, which indicates that the "巫" was an offshoot of the dancers. In general, the wizard presided over sacrificial ceremonies while acting as a god or a ghost. Our ancestors believed that wizards could convey people's wishes to the gods and receive the gods' instructions. Under the sway of religious and clan authorities in clan and slave society, wizards, who enjoyed special privileges, were the earliest artists and teachers of arts. (Fig.2-3)

They were professional performers, good at imitating gods and ghosts in terms of clothes, actions and features. Their make- up and costumes were actually parts of the em- bryo of Chinese theater. A play might not necessarily have songs or dances, but it must have makeup and costumes.

The sorcery content of Chinese drama has long since been obscured, but we may find some traces of the ancient sacrificial ceremonies in the description by the great poet Qu Yuan in his Nine Odes, 0f how, during a sacrificial ceremony, wizards or witches would dress up as various gods and perform what they thought were the actions of the deities to express their wishes. Could this have been the origin of the drama and the opera?

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