Concerning cousin Bang-ndlie and the youth,
cousin Mang-shi-ndlie.

Singer not recorded.


The exact meaning of the names of the young people in this song is unknown. It is the fact that they were cousins that is significant. Miao tradition was strongly opposed to marriage between related parties, and the family of this couple had evidently refused consent to their union. Accordingly they made an appointment to meet at a certain market and then ran away together. In so doing they alienated themselves permanently from their family. This is expressed in the final lines about a needle lost in the ashes of the hearth and a star in the depths of the sky. The passage about repairing the collar of the young manís gown and broken thong of the young womanís sandal is probably intended to make the same point, that, from now on, the couple would have to fend for themselves.

Literal Transcription

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