The Bawu Legend

Long long ago in the mountainous area of Ai-nu, there was a beautiful and kind girl in the Ha-ni ethnic group. Her name was Mei Wu. She was in love with a handsome lad called Ba Cong. They vowed that they would be together as close as a tree branch and a leaf. All the people in their village were amazed about their love and they all wished them happiness forever.

Their love story was overheard by the devil in the mountain. He came over the village and took Mei Wu away with strong wind. He forced her to marry him but in vain. Mei Wu never spoke a word in front of him. The devil was infuriated. He cut her tongue and abandoned her in a remote forest. One day a fairy bird brought back the girl's tongue. He asked her to put her tongue inside the bamboo tube. The bird told her that the bamboo would help her speak. With the bamboo Mei Wu produced beautiful voice to express her deep thought of her lover and the compliant against the devil. Her voice reached Ba Cong. He overcame all the obstacles and finally saved his lover. Eventually the Ha-ni people used half of their names combined to form the name of this instrument - bawu.


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