Yang Na, the only Wa delegate to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. (CGTN Photo)
Even before Yang Na was within sight, her laughter – high-pitched, crisp and clear – pierced the air.
Then without warning, she burst into song, her chin held up, her long hair held back with a silver headband, accentuating her dark skin tone.
Yang Na is an ethnic Wa, one of China's 55 minority ethnic groups. The Wa live mainly in the mountains of southern Yunnan Province, bordering Myanmar.
"That was a song about Jiangsanmuluo, an ancient hero in our culture," she says, clearly delighted to share the song. "We have our own language, but no script. Music is our script. It carries our history."
For more than a decade she has worked to bring the song and dance of her people out of the Wa mountains.