The origin of the Hmao-chi ancestral sacrifice.

Narrated by Yang Xiu-gong.


One branch of the Hmao-chi clan had a curious custom that, when certain ancestral rites were performed, they would borrow from the Yi landlord a horse and a flag. In the course of the proceedings, a man carrying the flag would ride the horse several times around the sacrifice. This story is told to explain the origin of the custom.

The ladís request for a wife is understandable. He was the youngest in the family, and when it came to his turn to marry, there would be little enough left to pay the marriage settlement for him. The landlord sent him around to the "back of the house", that is to the quarters occupied by the household slaves, to pick fruit, which was not immediately accessible, and would involve him climbing the tree. This accounts for the girl asking for what she could not reach herself. The promise having been made, the landlord honoured it although a junior member of his own family was involved instead of a slave girl as was intended. Both the young folk were still under age, so that the actual marriage would not have taken place until a considerably later date.

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