Song of how twelve Miao clans, fleeing, reached Nuo country.

Sung by Yang Zhi.


This, the third of Yang Zhi's songs about the flight of the Miao from the ancient homeland, describes how they eventually settled in Gi-chi-na-lu. The picture is of a well organized migration. Though forced to leave Nzhi-mi-li by Chinese pressure, they were by no means a defeated rabble, and when they arrived on the borders of Yi country they were still a force to be reckoned with. The Yi cousin is certainly depicted as having a sympathetic nature, but the friendly reception that the Miao were given was not prompted by philanthropy. They were, indeed, offered a place to live but it was not given to them as their own land. They would have to pay rent for their holdings, and when the Yi cousin spoke of "light burdens and heavy", she was referring to the extra service that the Miao would be required to render to Lord Byu-no for the privilege of living on his estates. Later songs describe how that, in time, the demands made upon them became so oppressive that the Miao decided to flee from Byu-no country.

This song is recorded in Documents M and N. The former, compiled by a group of teachers in Weining, is a selection of songs intended as an outline of Miao history. This probably accounts for the fact that in Document M the present song breaks off abruptly at line 113, when the Miao clans had been offered Gi-chi-na-lu as a locality in which to live. The passage that follows about sweetening the soil with tobacco smoke to counter the ill effects of "soil vapour" was probably regarded as inappropriate to the scheme of the Document and accordingly omitted.

Translation in verse
Literal Transcription

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