Eminent Chinese of the Ch'ing Period/Maska

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MASKA 馬斯喀, (d. 1704), was a member of the Fuca clan and belonged to the Manchu Bordered Yellow Banner. The eldest son of Misḥan [q. v.], he was enlisted as an Imperial Bodyguard and was entrusted with the hereditary captaincy of the company to which his family belonged. As time went on this company increased in numbers to such an extent that two more companies were created to take care of the new members: one in 1672, headed by Maci [q. v.], the other in 1684, headed by Mawu (see under Misḥan), both of whom were Maska's younger brothers. In 1688 Maska was appointed a director of the Imperial Armory and in the following year was promoted to be a deputy lieutenant-general of his own Banner and concurrently a minister of the Imperial Household.

In 1690, when it was known that Galdan [q. v.] was advancing southward from Outer Mongolia, Emperor Shêng-tsu sent his brother, Fu-ch'üan [q. v.], to check the Eleuths. Maska was an officer under Fu-ch'üan and took part in the battle of Ulan-butung on September 3, which Jean F. Gerbillon (see under Songgotu) describes in his Voyages (du Halde, Description de l'Empire de la Chine IV, p. 283ff). There is an account in Chinese of this expedition, entitled 塞北紀程 Sai-pei chi-ch'êng, which apparently was written by Maska himself. Promoted in 1695 to be a chamberlain of the Imperial Bodyguard, he was in the following year placed in command of the artillery and musketry division in the expedition against Galdan, under Emperor Shêng-tsu's personal command. Maska and Mawu both took part in this expedition, which reached the Kerulun River about June 7, 1696. Galdan fled west after seeing the imperial army, and Maska, invested with the rank of P'ing-pei Ta chiang-chün 平北大將軍, was sent in pursuit. He never overtook Galdan because the latter's men were defeated and dispersed (June 12) by the western route army under Fiyanggû [q. v.].

Upon his return to Peking Maska was named a member of the Council of Princes and High Officials, and carly in 1697 was ordered to lead his men to Tatung, Shansi. Designated Chao-wu Chiang-chün (昭武將軍), he was despatched to Ninghsia where he was ordered to serve as a member of the staff under Fiyanggû. After Galdan committed suicide one of his supporters, Ilaguksan Khutuktu 伊拉克古三呼圖克圖, a lama who had deserted to the side of Galdan and had helped the latter in waging wars against China, fled west to join the new Eleuth chief, Tsewang Araptan (see under Galdan and Yüeh Chung-ch'i). Maska was sent in pursuit, but, failing to overtake him after a month's chase, returned to Ninglisia. Late in 1697 Tsewang Araptan was compelled to surrender several of the fugitives from Galdan's camp, including Ilaguksan, who were tried and hacked to pieces in Peking before a large crowd of Mongolians. Early in 1698 Maska was tried for failure to capture Ilaguksan and was punished by deprivation of all his posts. But the Emperor was lenient to him, permitting him to retain his captaincy and the post of minister of the Imperial Household. In 1702 he was appointed lieutenant general of the Mongolian Bordered White Banner. He died two years later, and was canonized as Hsiang-chên 襄貞.

The families of Maska and Mawu were less prosperous than those of their brothers, Maci and Li-jung-pao (see under Misḥan). Mawu's branch was somewhat better off than Maska's because after his (Mawu's) death early in 1727, his descendants were posthumously given the minor hereditary rank of Ch'ing-ch'ê tu-yü (third class).


[1/287/4b; 3/278/22a; 34/140/4a; Tung-hua lu, K'ang-hsi 35:5, 6, and K'ang-hsi 36:11, 12; Sai-pei chi-ch'êng, incorporated in Shêng-wu chi by Wei Yüan [q. v.]; Mêng Sên, Ch'ing-ch'u san ta i-an k'ao-shih II, 4b (char. in bibl. of Fu-lin).]

Fang Chao-ying