The time when the Independent Yi and the Mohammedans both attacked.

Written by Tao Zi-gai.


This narrative is concerned with the same events as those described in the three songs, M261, M262 and M263, but the account is very different. Though slave raiding conducted by the Independent Yi from the other side of the Golden Sands River is mentioned briefly, the writer is chiefly concerned with the conflict with the "Black Chinese" as the Mohammedans were called. These people, said to be the descendants of mercenary soldiers employed in the campaigns of the early Mongol Emperors, were fierce and often lawless, with a reputation for brigandage. Other races round about, including the Chinese, often suffered at their hands, so that when the Miao took effective action against them, even within the Chinese city itself, the authorities turned a blind eye.

The dating given at the beginning is not quite clear. The Miao followed the Chinese in the cycle of years so that "Cockerel Year" came around once in every twelve. In the songs this cycle is regularly mentioned, but here we are told that Cockerel Year to 1858 was fully a hundred years. Cockerel year, in this context, must therefore have some other meaning, possibly a reference to the Chinese Sexegenary Cycle, which counted time, not in centuries but in cycles of sixty years.

The treatment meted out to the Mohammedans, the slaughter of young and old, not sparing even the children, and the carrying off of the younger women and girls, appears to have been barbaric in the extreme, but probably was no different from the treatment the Miao had themselves experienced on more than one occasion.

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