Mongolia, the Tangut country, and the solitudes of northern Tibet/Volume 2/The Murui-ussu
THE MURUI-USSU, THE TIBETAN SOURCE OF THE
The Chinese seem generally to regard the River Min, which flows through the city of Chingtu-fu, and joins the Yangtse at that of Siu-chau-fu, as the true river. But there is no question that the river which comes from Tibet is much the longer, and probably little question that it is also much the larger. The Dutchman, Samuel Van de Putte, who travelled from Lhassa to Peking in the earlier part of last century, wrote to the Italian priests at Lhassa, that when crossing the river upon that journey he started in a boat of hide one morning, passed the night upon a small island in the river, and did not achieve the completion of the passage till the middle of the following day.
The ' Tangutan ' name given as Di-chu in the text should probably be Bi-chu. Bi-tsiu, or Bhri-tsiu, 'the River of the Yak-cow,' is the Tibetan name, and this is almost certainly the origin of the name Brius, that Marco Polo gives to the river. The Mongol name Murui-ussu means, not 'River-water,' as the author says, but 'Winding River.' The Chinese name down to Siu-chau is Kinsha-Kiang or Gold-sand River.—[Y.]
- Journ. Asiatique, 2nd series, xiv. 191-192. A curious notice of this Dutch traveller has just appeared in Mr. Markham's work upon Tibet.