Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/328

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what is now Hunan. They have always been a turbulent race, and from what we know of human nature in general, we cannot be surprised that they should love independence more than subjection, and prefer to keep their own land rather than allow other people to appropriate it.

The claim of the Miao in Eastern Kweichow to have come from Kiangsi is strengthened by the fact that there are Miao in Hunan province, which lies between them and Kiangsi. Some of those we have met in Kweichow say they can understand the language of the Hunan Miao, though with more or less difficulty.

In earlier times, before they were broken up and subjugated by the Chinese, their rulers were princes who could lead large armies into the field. But in recent times they have been a people disorganised and scattered, and this has made their conquest more easy for the Chinese. In maps drawn and issued within the last two hundred years, parts of the province of Kweichow are marked as the region of the Sen Miao, and recent maps copying the earlier ones have the same parts labelled in the same way. The word Sen, or Shen, means "wild," "unsubdued," and this is the way the Chinese designate all within the frontiers of the Empire, and on the borders of it, who are not subject to them. But at the present time there are no independent Miao in Kweichow. The earlier maps published were made by Roman Catholic missionaries two hundred years ago, so we may conclude there were in the province at that time Miao who were still unsubdued.

Till very recent times also the Miao were, while really subject to the Chinese, ruled by their own hereditary chiefs. This system, however, seems to be passing away, and though there are still in some places hereditary chiefs exercising authority, the men among them now responsible for their tribesmen to the Imperial magistrates are appointed by the Chinese. These men are called "Tuan" or headmen, just as the same sort of men are called by the same term among the Chinese. They are very like Justices of the Peace in England, having power within a certain juris-