The Flood, Section two.

Sung by Zhu Zhi.


Despite its title, this song says nothing about the Flood. The compiler of Document N, having produced an account of the Flood by conflating songs by Yang Zhi, Zhang Ming and the grandmother from Hmao-zu-mu, decided to pick up the story in this song at the point where smoke from Ndrao-yas fire reached the sky and surprised an individual called "the Master", who sent his servants to investigate.

Presumably the missing beginning of the present song told the Flood story in a manner similar to that found in other versions. Like the Flood song from Hmao-zu-mu, this version is particularly concerned about the continuation of the human race when the catastrophe had past, and the solution offered is the same, namely by the union of Ndrao-ya and his young sister. Perhaps we are intended to understand, although the song does not say so, that the solution to Ndrao-yas marital problem was suggested by the Master, who also set up the sign of the rolling stones. This time Ndrao-ya and his sister rolled the upper and nether grind stones of a small hand mill separately from the top of the hill, and discovered, when they emerged at the bottom, that they were firmly pegged together, ready for use.

Strictly speaking, the Flood story should end at that point, but here we have a further narrative linked to it. Ndrao-ya and his sister begot three sons who became the ancestors of the Miao, the Yi and the Chinese respectively.

The rest of the song is an adaptation from another, quite unrelated piece entitled, "The foolish Miao man who twisted up cones of grass for his boundary marks", and sung by Wang Jian-chuai. In its original form it was the story of a dispute between a Miao and a Chinese, both tenants of a powerful Yi landlord. The purpose of this adaptation was to explain that the Miao no longer owned their own land because the grass-rope boundary marks of the eldest brother, the "foolish" Miao man, had been destroyed. It does not adequately explain, however, the significance of the "lazy" Yi man's boundary marks. Being of iron, they would not have been burnt, but did they ultimately survive, or did they simply rust away, leaving the Chinese man in possession of all the land?

Translation in verse
Literal Transcription

You can see the original documents for this song.

You can also see these pages as Word97 documents

Word97 Introduction
Word97 Translation
Word97 Transcription
Word97 Notes

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