The building of sky and earth.

Recorded by Wang Ming-ji.


Miao songs of creation often contrast the smooth surface of the sky with the rough surface of the earth. In this song earth and sky are pictured as a building undergoing its final plastering. The contrast in the surface of the finished work was the result of the tools employed.

It is not uncommon in two versions of the same song for names to appear in full in one and in an abbreviated form in the other. Here there are two very similar names, but while that of the young woman is shortened from Nggu-zyu Nggu-li-zv to Nggu-zyu-li-zv, that of the young man is given in full, Ndao-zyu Ndao-li-zv. The word "zyu" means "build", and "zv" means "constantly" or "continually". "zyu-li-zv" would therefore describe something which was built to last, a permanent building. In this case the reference is to the sky and the earth, and the names mean, "The young woman or young man whose building continued".

This may be a complete song, but it reads rather like a fragment from a longer piece.

Literal Transcription

You can see the original documents for this song.

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Word97 Introduction
Word97 Translation
Word97 Transcription
Word97 Notes

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