Concerning the Man Li-dao, section three.

Sung by Tao Zi-gai.


When compiling Documents F and K Yang Yung-xin took four, originally separate songs by Tao-Zi-gai, and ran them together into a single piece of some 350 lines. This, the third section, is virtually unrelated to the other three sections. It concerns the use of drums in the worship of the ancestors, and is obviously another version of the song by Wang Ming-ji, M387, on the same subject.

This song makes it clear that other Hua Miao clans were involved, not simply the Hmao-chi. It seems that the use of drums in the ancestral rites was not originally practised among the Hua-Miao, but was copied from their cousins the Chuan Miao, called in the song the "Hmao-gha-nzhi".

The time came when the Hua Miao stopped borrowing drums and began to make their own. Wang Ming-jiís song suggests that this came about when a sacred tree was inadvertently felled, and turned out to be excellent material for drum making. Tao Zi-gai, on the other hand, says that, led by the Hmao-dang clan, that is the man Li-dao, an inter-clan consultation decided that they would hence-forward make their own drums. The Hmao-ndlw clan would make the large, deep-toned drums, the "father drums", the Hmao-chi would make the medium sized ones, the "mother drums", and presumably, although it does not actually say so, the "baby drums" would be made by the Hmao-dang themselves.

The drums were believed to possess spirits of their own. In lines 14 and following, we are informed that they begin sounding of their own accord, presumably in protest at the "baby drum" being taken away from the family.

Being no longer beholden to the Chuan Miao for the supply of drums, was a significant boost to the morale of the Hua Miao, as the final four lines of the song indicate. Whatever the Chuan Miao might do, be it singing or piping or, presumably, drumming, the Hua Miao could do it equally well.

Literal Transcription

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Word97 Translation
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