Chinese folk songs remain largely unheard-of outside China. The broad purpose of this essay is to bring one peculiar form of folk songs that is commonly circulated in Northwest China—Hua’er—into the spotlight. The essay attempts to reveal four types of female images as observed in romantic Hua’er, which is followed by an analysis of the gender relationship mirrored from the images and characterized by male-dominated hierarchy. Additionally, two ideas are offered as interpretation on the construction of the gender hierarchy. One is the impacts of Islam and Tibetan Buddhism which are two principal religions in Northwest China; the other is the joint force generated when they are each combined with Chinese Confucianism. Though Hua’er has been listed into the Intangible Culture Heritage of UNESCO for more than a decade, the scholarship on it remains limited and new perspectives have yet to be explored. I believe this article makes a contribution in this regard by taking the gender perspective which is presently rare in Hua’er study.
"Folk Song “Hua’er” in Northwest China: “Younger Sisters” and the Gender Relationship,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 24:
1, Article 3.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol24/iss1/3