Miao spirits that were worshipped and those that caused sickness
2. Striking the bi-nzao.

Compiled by Yang Yung-xin


In his list of spirits (M371), Yang Yung-xin inserted a summary of Wang Ming-jiís account of the spirits called bi-nzao and of their activities, so that when he returned to the subject he concentrated on curing patients who had been attacked by one of these spirits.

Three different cures are described. The third one was to lure the bi-nzao from the patient into an egg which was then destroyed, and the second was to administer a potion of arrowroot and fern at sunrise. The first cure was a little more complicated. Very early in the morning the shaman-healer concealed himself, and lay in wait until the patient, quite unsuspecting, emerged from the house to answer the call of nature. While he was so preoccupied the shaman healer dealt him a sudden heavy blow with a leather boot and then speedily withdrew. This shock treatment had the effect of driving the bi-nzao away.

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