Miao lads go to fetch their brides.

Told by Yang Xiu-gong.


The Miao have a number of songs about creatures called "kha". These were human beings in form, both male and female, though the latter seemed to predominate. In addition to possessing magical powers, they also ate human flesh and drank human blood. They appear to be the Miao equivalent of the witches of western fairy tales.

The beginning of this story is not told quite clearly. The two young men went to fetch their brides from a distant village. On arrival they discovered that their prospective brides were the only two people who remained alive in the village, all the rest having been devoured by the kha woman.

Many Miao households possessed a mortar for pounding grain. It was a block of solid stone in which a hemispherical hole some six inches in diameter had been cut. The pestle was a heavy iron rod about a foot in length. The distinctive thud of pounding could be heard a considerable distance away.


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