Song of the inspired maid from Hmao-dleu-lao.

Sung by Yang Wang-shi.


This song, like the previous one, describes the activities of the young woman Rice-flower, but the course of events is rather different. On her journey to recruit her soldiers, the young woman met with some Yi robbers who, though at first they seemed friendly, waited until she had collected her food supplies, then ambushed, robbed and killed her and half her followers. These Yi robbers are called, "Yi slaves who were robbers". They were only seven in number, and the maid, Rice-flower, first met them at the landlordís "stacks of timber". They were probably White Yi, and slaves of the landlord. Their work was to fell trees and cut them into planks, which then had to be stacked in such a manner as to allow the air to circulate and dry the timber. They carried arms for their own protection, but when opportunity offered were not adverse to a little freebooting on the side. A note at the end of the song says that the maid Rice-flower intended to attack the "Black Chinese" but was killed before she could do so, while the remains of her little "army" went home.

In this song the descriptive title of the young woman is considerably less elaborate, only six syllables, which translate into English as,

The inspired maid, young cousin Rice-flower.

Here the word rendered "inspired" is the Miao word "si". This can mean "mad" or "insane", but "du-si" is also used as parallel to, or in combination with, "du-dlang" to mean "one who has supernatural powers", and hence "sorcerer" or "witch". The woman in this song, however, was not mad, nor did she practise any of the black arts, but was a young person with strong determination and drive, who had the ability to galvanize into action an easily demoralized "army", and to extract considerable contributions of grain from anything but wealthy villagers, in fact a kind of Miao Joan of Arc. So, therefore, "si" is best translated by "inspired".

Literal Transcription

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Word97 Introduction
Word97 Translation
Word97 Transcription
Word97 Notes

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