Written by Yang Jing-de.
This is an interesting short study into a complex process. The migrations of the Miao people were not simple movements of the whole tribe from one place to another. The ancient traditions need to be evaluated in order to establish the historical facts around which legends crystallised, and to discover the reason or reasons behind the migration of each individual group. In modern times the movements were prompted by the kind of factors which Yang Jing-de enumerates, but generally it was a case of one family moving first and then others following in the hope that the new situation would be better than the old. There was no organisation and no acknowledged leader. Many of the movements described in the first paragraph are over relatively short distances. Some of the place names are in Chinese, some in Miao. It is a pity that the writer did not also provide a sketch map, however rough.
The magistrate’s decorated hat referred to, was probably the black silk cap with a red bauble on the top worn by scholars and teachers as well as by officials.
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