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Ximan congxiao 溪蠻叢笑

Oct 5, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Ximan congxiao 溪蠻叢笑 is a book on native tribes in Wuling 武陵 (present-day Yuanling 沅陵, Hunan) written during the Southern Song period 南宋 (1127-1279) by Zhu Fu 朱輔, courtesy name Jigong 季公, from Tongxiang 桐鄉 (today in Zhejiang, or identical to Toncheng 桐城, Anhui).

The Ximan "savages" was one of five native tribes called Miao 苗, Yao 徭 (today written 瑤), Liao 僚, Tong 僮 (today written 侗), and Gelao 仡佬, namely the Xi from Xiong 雄溪, from Yuan 沅溪, from Qiu 酋溪, from Man 樠溪, and from Chen 辰溪. The term is derived from the "five river savages" (wu xi man 五溪蠻) mentioned in the official dynastic history Houhanshu 後漢書.

Ye Qian 葉錢, who wrote the preface to the short book, explained that the customs and habits of the five tribes were quite similar which allows to describe them as one coherent ethnic group. In 80 paragraphs, Zhu Fu provides information on the life of the Man tribes, with a special focus on the products of their environment, society, and economy, like wooden tallies (muxie 木契), wine made of Uncaria rhynchophylla (gouteng jiu 鉤藤酒), cinnabarite (chensha 辰砂), covers of reet (maohua bei 茅花被), the skirts of the Gelao 仡佬裙, gourd organs (hulu sheng 葫蘆笙), patterned shawls (bulan dai 不闌帶), girls' clothes (niangzu bu 娘子布), batik dyeing (dianla man 點蠟幔), bronze drums (tonggu 銅鼓), meat broth ( 不乃羹), embroidered balls (feituo 飛紽), bamboo tubes (tonghuan 筒環),performance of dances and songs (tage 踏歌), drinking through the nose (biyin 鼻飲), funeral halls (zangtang 葬堂), knotted hairs (zhuijie 椎結), etc. Much of this information is not found in other sources.

The book is included in the series Xu baichuan xuehai 續百川學海, Gujin shuohai 古今說海, Gezhi congshu 格致叢書, Yimen guangdu 夷門廣牘, both versions of the Shuofu 說郛, the Siku quanshu 四庫全書, Xuehai leibian 學海類編, Yangsuxuan conglu 養素軒叢錄, Gujin shuobu congshu 古今說部叢書, Shuoku 說庫 and Yingyin Yuan-Ming shanben congshu 景印元明善本叢書.

Sources:
Fu Taihao 符太浩 (2003). "Lishi minzu zhi Ximan congxiao lunlüe: Jian lun zuozhe Zhu Fu qi ren 歷史民族志《溪蠻叢笑》論略——兼論作者朱輔其人", Yunnan Minzu Daxue xuebao (Zhexue shehui kexue ban) 雲南民族大學學報(哲學社會科學版), 2003 (1).
Fu Taihao 符太浩 (2003a). "Ximan congxiao jiazhi shuping 《溪蠻叢笑》價值述評", Guizhou minzu yanjiu 貴州民族研究, 2003 (6).
Gao Wende 高文德, ed. (1995). Zhongguo shaoshu minzu shi da cidian 中國少數民族史大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin jiaoyu chubanshe), 2405.
Hu Zhen 胡振 (2017). "Songdai Wuxi Man diqu minzu guanxi, zhengce yu Xinan bianjiang kaifa: Yi Ximan congxiao wei zhongxin 宋代五溪蠻地區民族關係、政策與西南邊疆開發——以《溪蠻叢笑》為中心", Qujiang Shifan Xueyuan xuebao 曲靖師範學院學報, 2017 (3).
Li Xueqin 李學勤, Lü Wenyu 呂文郁, ed. (1995). Siku da cidian 四庫大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin daxue chubanshe), Vol. 1, 1116.
Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗云, ed. (1991). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Dili 地理卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 386.
Wan Li 萬里, ed. (2006). Hu-Xiang wenhua da cidian 湖湘文化大辭典 (Changsha: Hunan renmin chubanshe), Vol. 2, 1434.
Yang Wuquan 楊武泉 (1985). "Ximan congxiao zuozhe Zhu Fu de jiguan yu shidai kao 《溪蠻叢笑》作者朱輔的籍貫與時代考", Zhongnan Minzu Xueyuan xuebao (Zhexue shehui kexue ban) 中南民族學院學報(哲學社會科學版), 1985 (6).