The wild goose and the crane distinguish Winter and Summer.

Sung by a man from Hmao-go-ndlao, in the congregation at Hmao-a-dyu.


Cai-sie-mi-fu-di is the name given in many of the songs to the country, far away to the north, from which the Chinese came to invade the legendary Miao homeland. The other name in this song, Nbw-sie-mi-fu-ndrang, which is given to the country from which the birds migrated in the Spring and to which they returned in the Autumn, is unique. It has the appearance of having been coined as a parallel to Cai-sie-mi-fu-di. In place of the first two syllables we have "Nbw-sie" which means "to be restless", the description of the birds in line 2, and as a parallel to the final "di" which means "land", we have "ndrang" meaning "plain".

Following line 15, in the text there are six lines which ask, and provide the conventional answer, to the question, "What is it like at the edge of the earth and the sky?" These two stanzas are found in a number of songs and appear to have been picked up and used by a singer wherever he considered it to be appropriate. In the present context they are obviously an intrusion, breaking the continuity of the song, and having no relevance to the theme. They have therefore been placed as a postscript at the end of the song.

Lines 10 to 15, which are a description of Cai-sie-mi-fu-di, are repeated in the Miao text following line 20. There seems to be no reason for the repetition since the birds had already left that area and returned southward. Moreover, the repetition breaks the continuity between lines 20 and 21. Accordingly they have been omitted.

Pig-month and Rat-month are the seventh and eighth months of the lunar calendar, that is Autumn.

Literal Transcription

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