The song of Du-bw the weak one.

Collected by Wang Ming-ji.


The story in this song is substantially the same as that in Yang Xiu-gongís prose version, (M389), except that here the Yi landlord required further proof of the young Hmao-chiís prowess as a marksman. There is also no mention of the landlordís flag, which figures in the prose narrative. The song, however, makes it clear that no religious problem would arise until the landlordís daughter died, and her spirit joined the spirits of the ancestors. Then, the fact that she was of a different race would have to be taken into account, or she, and may be even her forebears, could not rest contentedly, and that might result in retribution being visited on succeeding generations.

The three Miao who feature in the song are not given personal names, but descriptive titles, even though the words are underlined in the manuscript as though they were proper names. Each begins with the word "Du", which simply means "the person". Thus "Du-chi" and "Du-ndlw" mean, respectively, "The person, a member of the Chi clan", and "The person, a member of the Ndlw clan". The youngest of the trio is accorded a more complicated title, which, in the English translation, has been rendered "Du-bw the weak one", but see the Notes (M390NT) for a more detailed discussion.

Literal Transcription

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Word97 Introduction
Word97 Translation
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Word97 Notes

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