1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Miaotsze

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

MIAOTSZE, or Miautse, one of the aboriginal tribes of southern China. At one time they occupied a considerable portion of the fertile lands which now form the central province of the empire, but as the Chinese advanced southwards they were driven into the mountain districts of the provinces of Yunnan, Kwei-chow, Kwang-si and Kwang-tung, where they are found at the present day. As early as the reign of King Suan (about 800 B.C.) we read of an expedition having been sent to drive them out of Hu-nan. The last important campaign against them was undertaken by the emperor K'ien-lung, who, having completely subjugated the Eleuths, attacked the Miaotsze, who suffered a crushing defeat, and were compelled to purchase peace by swearing allegiance to their conquerors. They still maintain a semi-independence in their mountain-homes, but are a decaying race, gradually giving way before the Chinese. They are allowed to govern themselves on their own patriarchal system. The Miaotsze of both sexes are shorter and darker-complexioned than the Chinese, their faces are rounder and their features sharper.

See Sketches of the Miau-tsze, trans. by E. C. Bridgman; J. Edkins, The Miautsi Tribes, their History; and “Quaint Customs in Kwei-chow,” Cornhill Magazine (Jan. 1872); Playfair, The Maotzu of Kwei-chow and Yunnan (London, 1877); A. R. Colquhoun, Across Chrysé (1883).