Old Miao songs about marriage. 7.

Transcribed by Yang Yung-xin


The marriage songs, for the most part, say nothing about the reactions of either the bride or the bridegroom. In this song the latter is not even mentioned, but we are told that when the bride saw the marriage party arriving she trembled. Whether this was from fear or excitement is not revealed.

The Miao were not potters. For generations now they have used earthenware basins and bowls bought from the Chinese at local markets. However the old songs reflect a time when rice was eaten from small individual baskets of woven bamboo, using, not chopsticks, but spoons carved from wood. Vegetables and meat were contained in wooden bowls set on low tables, and wine was drunk from small bowls, perhaps two inches in diameter, also carved from wooden blocks. In this song we are told that new rice baskets were provided and the wine cups were also new and "thin", that is, finely carved.

The connection between the final section from line 60 and the rest of the song is a little obscure. The suggestion seems to be that, though their daughter has now left home, life for the parents had to go on, so they returned to the daily tasks of driving the cattle and sheep out to pasture. Nevertheless families related by marriage should keep in touch even though separated by considerable distances.

Literal Transcription

You can see the original documents for this song.

You can also see these pages as Word97 documents

Word97 Introduction
Word97 Translation
Word97 Transcription
Word97 Notes

Return to Index of Songs
Return to First Page of the Archive