Old Miao songs about marriage. 5.
Song of collecting livestock from the bridegroom’s family.

Collected by Wang Ming-ji.

A note at the end of this song says that it was "a song of complaint because the cattle and pigs were not big enough". The marriage arrangements had all been worked out by the middleman, including the number of animals to be given by the bridegroom’s family to the bride’s family. When, however, the marriage procession arrived, and the "headman", that is the leader of the party, asked about the settlement of livestock, he received only an evasive reply. It was the duty of the younger brother to collect the beasts, and the bridegroom’s family, knowing that the animals were of inferior quality, tried to hand them over to the young man, in the hope that, being inexperienced he would not demur. The song is evidence that they did not, in fact, get away with it. In a further note at the end of the song Wang Ming-ji explained that in such circumstances the matter would have to be settled by an additional payment of money or wine.

Literal Transcription

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