Lusheng is the characteristic musical instrument played primarily by Miao and Dong minorities in Guizhou province. The village of Paika is well-know as an important Lusheng production base here.
The Lusheng musical instrument is made by multiple bamboo pipes, each fitted with a free reed, which are fitted into a long blowing tube made of hardwood. It most often has five or six pipes of different pitches, and is thus a polyphonic instrument. It comes in sizes ranging from very small to several meters in length.
In Paika, the making of Lusheng is taught by example, without any written records. In addition to some musical knowledge, the making of Lusheng also requires the craftsmen to know some physics and mechanics. Traditionally, the craftsmen in this area make Lusheng by using bellows, hammers, brass, axes, chisels, saws, drills, bitter bamboos, Chinese wood oil and calcareousness (some have replaced it with latex).
In the Lusheng Festival, performers often dance or swing the instrument from side to side while playing. Visit Parka, the home of a Lusheng maker and buy a Lusheng as a unique souvenir!