Miao spirits that were worshipped and those that caused sickness
9. Worship of the venerable and the old.

Compiled by Yang Yung-xin.


The Miao title is "Worship of Mi-si-mi-lao". The word "si" means an elder in the village, "lao" means old, and the whole expression is an honorific name accorded to sacred trees and rocks. The hill on which these stood was called "Drao-mi-si", meaning the venerable mountain.

This account of the worship, by the village, of its local sacred tree or rock stops just before it reaches it climax. All the preparations were apparently completed, the food and the offering were duly prepared, the incantation had been chanted and the sacred rock or tree alerted by the cry, "It is ready! It is ready!" but there the record breaks off without saying that the offering was actually presented. Instead we are informed that the worship culminated with a libation in honour of the Spirit Zu-gi-za. A detailed discussion of the question that this raises and of the relationship between the worship of the sacred rocks and trees to the worship of the Great Spirit, will be found in the introduction toWang Ming-jiís account of the worship of Mi-si-mi-lao. (M357)

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