The descendants of Gha-sao-hmao-byu.

Sung by Yang Zhi.


This, the third song in the set of four, concerns a Miao leader called Gha-sao-hmao-byu. He is not accorded the title "yeu-lao", Elder, as were the Clan leaders in the two previous songs. "Sao" and "Byu" are the names of two powerful Yi families on whose estates the Miao lived during the period after the homeland was lost, but Wang Ming-ji, in his note at the beginning of the fourth song, does not mention it. What he does say is that Gha-sao-hmao-byu is an old form of the Clan name Hmao-jiai which is connected with the Chinese name Li.

According to this song two Chinese attacks were repelled before the homeland was finally lost, and this time the decisive factor was not the Chinese use of boats to ferry the troops across the river, but the ability to use gunpowder. It was fear of the exploding firecrackers which caused the Miao to flee.

There seems to be no particular reason for the inclusion, either of the description of Gha-sao-hmao-byu’s personal appearance, or of the name of a hill ridge on the Rice City plain.

Literal Transcription

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