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The historical origin of diabolo

Diabolo has a long history in China. In Ming Dynasty Liu Dong and Yu Yizheng recorded in the “Emperor Beijing Scenery · Spring Field”: “The empty clock is hollow, the wood is hollow, and the side is covered with pitch. The ground is like a bell while the handle is flat. Nothing else. Rope around its handle, don’t have a bamboo ruler with a hole, draw the rope and reach the grid empty clock, the rope will restrain the right side, and the bamboo will restrain the left side. The sound of flying, the sound of a bell is enough to stop the time. The diameter is from an inch to eighty or nine inches, and it will be one to three people.”

This type of so-called “empty clock” in ancient times was commonly known as “Drawstring Rotation” in Beijing, Tianjinese called it “Song Hu Lu”, and in some places it was called “Di Ling”. Li Jiarui’s “Beijing Customs and Customs · Amusement” introduces sitting and watching the elderly. The “Wild Records of the Qing Dynasty” stated: “There are so-called’empty bells’ in children’s toys in the capital, which are the bells of other provinces. The two ends are made of bamboo tubes, the middle is made of pillars, and the sound is made by ropes. Only Jingshi (referring to The empty bell in Beijing has a round and flat shape with a shaft and two wheels. Its sound is clearer and longer than those made by other provinces.”

In summary, the empty clock, the stuffy potlu, and the ground bell are all the same toy. However, the general term “diabolo” refers specifically to the one that trembles and buzzes in the air. This kind of diabolo was not described in the book “Scene of the Emperor” in the late Ming Dynasty. In the Qing Dynasty, related accounts gradually increased, and diabolo became a favorite game.

This kind of typical diabolo is generally divided into two types: single shaft and double shaft. The wheel and wheel surface are made of wood, and the wheel rim is made of bamboo. The bamboo basin is hollow and has a whistle hole. It can make a buzzing sound when it rotates. Diabolo’s central post has a thin waist to facilitate rotation when the tangling rope shakes. The diabolo shaker holds two small wooden sticks (or small bamboo sticks) about two feet long in each hand, and a cotton string about five feet long is tied at the top. Hold the two ends of the small wooden sticks with both hands, so that the string is wound around the axis. Make a circle or two circles, shaking with one hand and sending the ground, speed up the rotation to make it scream.

In the “Yenjing Miscellaneous Notes” written by an unknown person in the Qing Dynasty, when he described the preparation and gameplay of the diabolo of the capital, he said: “The children of the capital used the diabolo to shake the diabolo. , Continously, the two ends, the middle of the orifice, the small stem with a rope around it, the two ends are trembling, the sound is like a bell, and it is very audible.”

In addition to being popular among folk children in the Qing Dynasty, diabolo was also introduced to the palace and loved by women in the palace, and different forms of shaking appeared. The poetry “Playing with Diabolo” once described by the Anonymous Family of the Qing Dynasty: “Shangyuan value feast in Yuxi Palace, singing and dancing in the same dynasty. The concubine has good skills and shook the air in person.” Yuan Zhuyun: “The air, the play of the instrument.” 1. Nearly dance in the capital city, in the new year, Wangsun, Guiji are good at it. The imperial concubines are also wonderful. The dance styles include’harrier turning over, flying swallows into the clouds, ringing pigeon bells’ and so on.”

The tricks of shaking the diabolo are not too few. In addition to the tricks mentioned above, there are “climbing the cross”, “throwing high”, “Zhang Fei cheating the horse” and “monkey climbing the pole”. Especially the “throwing high”, some can throw the diabolo into the air up to several feet high, and then take it with a fluttering line when it falls. It is accurate and can be called a must. Diabolo has continued to develop since the Qing Dynasty and has been widely spread among the people. It has also become an important form of performance in acrobatics.

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