Miao (specifically, Hmub) Creation Epics

[texts in a humorous style, publicly sung for popular entertainment : each (short) section being introduced by a quaestion]

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pp. 113-156 Part IV = "Song of the Butterfly Mother"

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(pp. 136-40 – IV.5 Searching for the Sacrificial Drums)

p. 136 similes for beings

the __

were plump as __

swine

door-planks

fishes in paddies

crossbeams

babies

melons

p. 136 guests who were invited to sacrifices to the antient child Got Dol [the "ball of flesh" {cf. Hun-Dun?} birthed by Janx Vanb and by his sister after the deluge (p. 205, n. 2) {so do sections IV.5-8 properly occur after part V, which is the epoch of the great deluge?}]

guest

who brought a __

Lil [who is Janx Vanb’s 2nd brother-in-law (p. 206, n. 4)]

big knife

Lion

long sword

p. 137 the 3 sorts of cymbals. each personified as an animal

animal

at __

chicken

corner of house

fish

corner of pond

frog

paddy-banks

pp. 138-139 groves encountered on the way to Jiu-li mountain-forest

p.

grove

its utility

138

bamboo

plaited into grain-drying pans

 

qin-gan

to make molds for baba cakes

 

sweet gum

ladder for tying buffalo-horns onto (p. 194, n. 25)

 

horse chestnut

for making cattle-pens

139

tea

boiled for the ancestors to drink

p. 140 "the wild pig danced backward and stepped on Jang Vang’s gown".

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(pp. 140-6 – IV.6 Searching for the Sacrificial Ox)

p. 140 tending farm-animals

the __

were told to tend the __

boys

geese

girls

oxen

pp. 141-142 how farm-animals departed to the East : promises to return

p.

departing __

said to __

‘I shall return in order to __’.

141

Horse

Saddle-packs

bring silks and satins

 

Ox

Hemp

twist thee into ropes

141-2

(141) Pig

Bamboo-Shoots

(142) "use you as offering poles"

142

"Yellow Cow"

Ga Ga tree

use thee as a plough-shaft

pp. 142-144 while journeying Eastward toward "the hometown of the waters and the Sun", in payment for use of plants as fodder for Ox, agreements were made to sanctify various objects (owned by the gardeners of those plants) by using those objects thenceforth in sacrificial caerimony

p.

plant-leaves as fodder

object used

142

cotton bamboo

strips of cotton-bamboo to fasten ox-horns to the centre-post

142-3

(142) indigo

(143) "bucket with nine bands on it, used to carry water to raise the sacrificial fish."

143

white gum tree

"the yoke to lead the sacrificial bull"

 

banana

the 3 fish

144

?

squirrel [a black one (p. 206, n. 5)]

 

cogon grass

"pheasant plumes ... to be put in the crowns of the sacrificial hats."

p. 206, n. 4 "two women (an aunt and a niece) were required to carry water for the sacrificial fish. The niece would hold the bucket while the aunt poured water into it." {cf. [Ijo mythic] sacred talking fish kept in aquarium by heroine, who herself became the sacrificial victim}

pp. 144-145 providers of accoutrements for Ox

p.

provider

accoutrement

144

uncle Ban Xan Ye’s "pond water"

4 whorls of hair (1 each on 4 shoulders)

145

Butterfly Mother

2 horns

 

"red-pebbled bluffs"

cloven hooves

 

"pine needles"

clothing

p. 145 Walking Westward, at Nan-men-dan & Nana E, Ox "trampled on Crab’s home."

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(pp. 146-52 – IV.7 Searching for the Sacrificial Vestments)

pp. 146-149 Janx Vanb’s 9 daughters (ah ‘sister’); their husbands; bride’s dowry (instead of profane object which they had intended for her to take, she absconded from her parents’ house with a sacred object owned by them {cf. bride’s stealing of her parents’ sacred object when departing with her husband, in B-Re>sit 31:19})

p.

#

daughter : "Ah __"

husband : "Yu __"

his city

instead of __

bride’s dowry was __

146

1st

Nian

Lion

Wen-lao [in Ron-jian county (p. 206, n. 3)]

clothes-drying pole

offering-pole

146-7

2nd

(146) Ni

Li

(147) Wen-lao

indigo-crock

brine-vat

147

3rd

Mai

Hnian

Wen-lao

plates for guests

sacrificial bowls

147-8

4th

Lie

Ve

On Lo Van Niu & Dli Don Bi Di [in Ron-jian county (p. 206, n. 5)]

shuttle of loom

(148) lu-s^en

148

5th

Yu

Ju

On Lo Van Niu & Dli Don Bi Di

(gave birth in her parents’ house)

ham-hock & duck

 

6th

Gi

Lionx Tonb

[lionx tonb is ritual messenger (p. 207, n. 8)]

--

--

148-9

7th

(148) Diub [‘foolish’ (p. 207, n. 9)]

?

she was sent away "as a maidservant; then she became the son’s wife."

--

--

149

8th

Ge ["Ghe" on p. 151]

?

she divorced, later marrying another man

--

--

 

9th

Ju

?

she divorced, later marrying another man

--

--

p. 150 approach by Lion Hlie and Janx Vanb to the abodes of Janx Vanb’s daughters’ husbands’ relatives

"Arriving at a fork in the road,

they came upon a little herd boy

and gave him a string of yimi beads."

["Yimi (a Chinese name) are the seeds of a plant known in English as Job’s Tears (Coix lacryma-jobi), related to maize." (p. 207, n. 11)]

"By the door ... a big tree was planted,

and in the tree was a magpie’s nest,

and at the foot of the tree crouched a dog ... .

At the ... home, the lintel was hung with a black lacquer plate".

p. 150 how Lion Hlie and Janx Vanb were seated when they visited Janx Vanb’s daughters’ husbands’ relatives

guest

sat on a __ chair

Lion Hlie

wooden

Janx Vanb

leaden

p. 151 patterns for making (by Janx Vanb’s daughters’ husbands’ relatives) of the vestments and the hats

pattern

for __

horse-leg

vestments

chestnut-burrs

hats

p. 206, n. 1 "A xi (xib) is a special kind of ceremonial vest said to be made of sheepskin."

p. 151 accoutrements given to Janx Vanb by his various daughters

his daughter __

gave to him __

A Diu

a string of yi-mi beads

A Ge

a hat

A Ju

a set of sacrificial vestments

p. 151 those with whom Lion Hlie and Janx Vanb spent holidays while returning westward

at __

they spent the holiday with __

Cogon Grass Bluff

Golden Pheasant

Je Hsan Van

Lion Ton

p. 151 the vestments were put onto a long table by Din Hsai

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(pp. 152-6 – IV.8 Ancestor-Sacrifice Hunt)

p. 152 sending off the Drum

"After each Ancestor Sacrifice,

the Drum is sent back to the mountains.

... the Drum is escorted to the Silver Cliffs;

the Lead Mountain Hollows ... one likes them.

[p. 207, n. 1 "The sacrificial drum is kept inside a cave or under a cliff to protect it from the bad weather".]

The Drum should live there for eleven years,

and on the twelfth year return."

p. 153 musical sounds during transportation of the Drum to the mountains

"The rattling of the carrying poles resounded through

the Silver Mountain Hollows.

When Butterfly Mother heard it, she rose

and quickly left for home."

"Pheasant ... was collecting chestnuts in the mountains

when an avalanche of rocks and stones rolled down.

The big stones ...

struck against the drum-head with a "dong.""

p. 153-155 acquisition of horns by nanny-goat

p.

theft and fleeing by thiefess

153

Nanny-goat and Bitch

"were sisters born of the same mother.

Their legs worked together grinding grain

and pounding rice."

{cf. [Cherokee myth] theft of maize-meal by hound}

 

Nanny-goat stole Bitch’s "horns" :

154

Nanny-goat "fled through the back door,

then leaped into the vegetable patch.

The vegetables ... cried out when touched.

Hearing the noise, the goat was frightened. ...

It escaped along the waste-water trench.

Mountain Goat fled,

fled to the forest on Jiuli Mountain."

 

Bought for "seventeen silver ingots",

"quail"-hunting hounds

"chased Mountain Goat to Je Wang." [p. 207, n. 4 "in Taijiang County"]

155

Lion Ton gave a hunting-hound to Janx Vanb "for free".

pp. 155-156 pursuit and capture of female Mountain-Goat

p.

female Mountain-Goat

155

"Din Hsai ... urged everyone :

"Everyone stop grinding grains; ...

Mountain Goat will be frightened by the noise,

the beast in the mountains will flee!""

156

Janx Vanb, crawled, and

as "he crouched at Crib Door Saddleback [p. 207, n. 6 "in Taijiang County"],

Mountain Goat came up the mountain."

 

When Lion Ton "pointed his finger,"

Janx Vanb "struck with his fist;

Mountain Goat ... was captured in the fish grass."

[p. 207, n. 7 "Locals like to raise fish in their paddies ... . During winter they put branches ... in the center of the paddies to allow the fish a place to congregate ... . this shelter is called hse nai (hseb nail)."]

 

"A wubei wood carrying pole

and a dry birch timber were used to carry it."

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Jin Dan ("Jenb Dangk" in Miao; compiler and translator from Miao into Chinese); Ma Xueliang (editor of the Chinese version); Mark Bender (translator from the Chinese) : Butterfly Mother : Miao (Hmong) Creation Epics from Guizhou, China. Hackett Publishing Co, Indianapolis, 2006.