M372
Miao spirits that were worshipped and those that caused sickness
1. Worshipping the Spirit Zu-gi-za.

Compiled by Yang Yung-xin.

Introduction.

In his description of the Miao spirit worship Yang Yung-xinís treatment of the worship of the Spirit Zu-gi-za and the ancestors was apparently a precis of the second part of Wang Ming-jiís account, that is of M354. Either he had no knowledge of the first part of Wang Ming-jiís description, M352 and M353, or he simply chose to ignore it. He does not add any new information about the beliefs or the worship-procedures except the fact that at the zi sacrifice, in addition to the old ox, one further animal for each surviving brother had to be offered.

Yang Yung-xinís account of spirit worship is preceded in Document F by a miscellaneous collection of material, mostly short incantations, on a variety of different subjects, under the title "Ancient traditions of the Miao old folk". See M339. The last four items in this set, numbers 8 to 11, are in fact incantations which are part of the worship of the Spirit Zu-gi-za and the ancestors. That is where they appear in Wang Ming-jiís record, and why Yang Yung-xin chose to remove them to his miscellaneous group, is not explained.

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