Recorded by Wang Jian-guo.
This song may be a description, cast into the form of a narrative, of the natural phenomena which might be found along some river course in the mountainous regions where the Miao live.
There are places where a river passes under a ridge of rock, forming a kind of bridge, or disappears into a cave, running underground for a considerable distance before emerging again, and there are places where, over periods of time, river courses have been blocked, forming lakes which have disappeared again when surface or underground channels have been reopened.
How the episodes concerning the great snake are to be interpreted is not so obvious. Perhaps there were formations, or markings on the cliff face, resembling a snake. The place names in the song are of little help in identification.
Translation in verse
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