Told by Yang Xiu-gong.


The name "Nbao-chao" means "covered in dust". It might be used of a child who had been playing among the ashes. So used it would be an indulgent, slightly humorous nickname. When applied to an adult it becomes a term of abuse and insult. His grandfather, aunt and cousins all made no secret of their disgust for their poor relation, who, in self defence, deliberately assumed the role of "dust man", and threw the name back at the girls when thy enquired whether he had seen a stranger go by.

The arrival of the first showers of the rainy season encouraged the growth of fungi around the stump of a dead tree and also the first shoots of the quick growing bamboo.

Some groups of Miao have considerable wealth in silver ornaments, not so the Hua Miao. Enquiries as to what silver trousers and gowns were like, and how they could be worn, brought only the response, "I donít know". They appear to owe more to imagination than to any recollection of old custom.

As a Miao girl grew towards marriageable age she would begin making the required clothing. This included not only garments for her own use but also a set for her husband to be. This explains why Nbao-chao approached his female cousins to borrow something to wear to the festival.

Literal Transcription

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