Song of the Flood.

Sung by Zhang Ming.


This song of the flood belongs to the same oral tradition as the version sung by Yang Zhi, but, as well as the distinctive style of the singer, it has one interesting additional feature. In the previous songs, the sign by which the flood was known to have abated, was the crowing of the cockerel that had hatched and grown from the egg given to Ndrao-ya when he first went aboard his boat. Zhang Ming has replaced that sequence with a longer episode, quite obviously adapted from the Flood story in the Book of Genesis, whereby Ndrao-ya, having sent out other birds which did not return, realised that the water had gone when a dove flew back to him carrying some dry grass in its beak. This passage is in exactly the same style as the rest of the song, and must be by the same singer, but why he made this change to the traditional Miao text is nowhere explained.

Zhang Ming’s version of the song continues to use the double name for the personage who warned the two brothers of the coming deluge, except that the first element is shortened from "The Glorious King Shi-tru" to "The Glorious King".

The sequence which describes how Ndrao-ya obtained fire, by striking sparks from the rock with his iron claw-bar, is not included, but in the section about Thunder and the seasons, Zhang Ming describes all four, whereas Yang Zhi mentions only three, omitting Autumn. However, the four appear in a very curious order, namely, Summer, Spring, Autumn and Winter.

Translation in verse
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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