Concerning the man Lang-dai of Hmao-trao-bw.

Written by Tao Zi-gai.


This is another episode in the story of the fighting with the Mohammedans. Keeping the peace in this mountainous area was always difficult because it lay along the border between the provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou. It was easy for a robber band to cross the border beyond the reach of any militia sent out to catch them. Then again the robbers were not "professionals". A person might be a member of a marauding band one day, and be home, apparently a law-abiding farmer, the next. Moreover, soldiers sent out to suppress them often behaved in a manner indistinguishable from the robbers, in their treatment of the ordinary people. Robbers and soldiers are regularly classed together in the songs.

The narrative reads almost as though the man Lang-dai attacked and routed the Mohammedan robbers single handed. What in fact he did was to take command of the dispirited Miao, restore their morale and then out-manoeuvre the robbers. The Magistrate, recognising his ability as a leader, offered him a command in the local militia. This he declined.

Literal Transcription

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