The foolish Miao man who twisted up cones of grass for his boundary marks.

Sung by Wang Jian-chuai.


This song has been included with those concerning the Flood, not because it is directly related to that event, but because the final episode in "The Flood, Section Two" is clearly an adaptation of this story. See "The Flood, Section Two" sung by Zhu Zhi (M135).

There were few, if any, stone masons among the Miao, so if they wanted cut-stone boundary marks they would have to go to a Chinese mason and pay whatever he charged. The coils of tightly twisted grass rope the Miao man could make himself. Although less permanent than stone, they would last for a considerable time, but were not, of course, proof against fire.

Both the Chinese man and the Miao man were tenants of the Yi landlord, so that if a boundary dispute arose, it was to him that they would have to apply for adjudication. The song says that the Miao man was "frustrated". The reason is implied, though not actually stated. The Chinese man had apparently taken advantage of the boundary marks being burned to encroach on the Miao man's land. But when the Miao man complained to the landlord, he lost his case since the only surviving marks were the Chinese man's black stones. The result was that the Miao man had to go on paying the same rent as before, but for less land.

Translation in verse
Literal Transcription

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Word97 Introduction
Word97 Translation
Word97 Transcription
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