Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/324

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bourhood of the Keh-lao, the Miao acknowledge them to be the original occupiers of the soil. Their speech is evidently different to every other language spoken in the province. Who they are and whence they came is a very interesting problem that still awaits solution.

The Lo-lo are found in the north-west of the province. As far as we know, their numbers in Kweichow are not considerable. They seem to have drifted into the province from Szechwan on the north and Yunnan on the west, where they are found in considerable numbers. As missionary operations spread we shall find out more about them, but it is doubtless in Szechwan and Yunnan that most can be learned.

The Keh-lao and Lo-lo form so insignificant a proportion of the population that, apart from questions of ethnological interest, they would be left out in a brief sketch of the province. Moreover, in their personal appearance and in the appearance of their villages, a traveller passing through the districts where they are to be found would naturally look upon them as Miao.

Of the Miao and Chung-chia it is difficult to say which is the more numerous. If we put down the population of Kweichow as seven millions, the Miao and Chung-chia together would probably amount to between two and three millions. The Miao are to be found in the east, south, and west of the province, and the Chung-chia in the centre, south, and west of it.

We shall treat first of the Miao, as these people by all accounts were in this region before the Chung-chia. This race was known to the Chinese in other parts of what is now the Chinese Empire as early as the days of Yao and Shuen, more than four thousand years ago. Erom these days to very recent times they have fought with varying success against the encroaching Chinese. Wherever the Chinese are now in the north and east, the Miao were there before them. But the Miao were no match for their better organised and more industrious neighbours. Gradually they have been absorbed among the Chinese or driven