Sung by Tao Zi-gai.
Section one of this song describes the settlement of the Miao clan Li-dao in their ancient homeland, and also tells of the people's eventual eviction from that homeland by the Chinese. Section two, traces their subsequent migration until their settlement in the valley of the river A-na on the estates of the Yi over-lord Byu-no, who is called throughout this song "the Lord Shi-byu".
In Yang-zhi's version of the story, when the Miao arrived in Byu-no country, they were given a friendly welcome and at once assigned the valley of the river A-na as a place in which to live. This song states that, though the Lord Byu-no received them kindly, the Miao were still fearful that, in time to come, the Chinese might turn on them as they had done before. The Lord Byu-no was apparently unable to offer them reassurance, so, with his blessing, they travelled on to the domains of another Yi over-lord, Sao-no, called "the Lord Gha-sao" throughout this song. After enquiry and investigation and a journey to consult with the Lord Byu-no, Lord Sao-no proposed that Byu-no, Sao-no and the Man Li-dao should form a mutual defence pact to guard against future Chinese aggression. Given this assurance the Miao decided to remain in Byu-no territory to which they had apparently returned with Lord Sao-no, and they were granted leave to settle in the forests along the A-na river.
The following points of detail need some further explanation.
In lines 96 and 97 the Lord Gha-sao declared that his "hands were able" and his "hands were skilful". This is a conventional formula in the songs which usually takes the following form:
"So and so's hands were able, his hands were skilful. What were his hands able, his hands skilful to do? His hands were able, his hands were skilful to make ..."
"Unfortunately, while the sky remained constant,
The Man Li-dao could not dwell there".
"Later, unfortunately, there came a time
When the Man Li-dao could not dwell there"
Translation in verse
You can see the original documents for this song.
You can also see these pages as Word97 documents
Return to Index of Songs
Return to First Page of the Archive