Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/334

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women probably went on for a long period, so that in time many of them were really descended from the Chinese and others related to them by marriage. As the Chinese are the superior and ruling race, it is natural that as many as can claim to be allied to them should do so, and this they are the more likely to do, so as not to be regarded as Miao. When, three or four hundred years ago, Chinese immigrants from Kiangsi entered the province in large numbers—doubtless more men than women—many of them married into Chung-chia families. The relations already existing between the Chung-chia and the earlier settlers would make it more easy and natural for the latter ones to marry into Chung-chia families. It is to be noted that the Chinese words which the Chung-chia have adopted into their language are not pronounced as the Chinese around them, who are mostly from Szechwan and Hunan, pronounce them, but as they are pronounced in Kiangsi and the region of the lower Yangtse river.

Like the women among the Miao, the Chung-chia women do not bind their feet. The old tribal or national costume of the women was a rather tight-fitting jacket and a skirt very like the skirt worn by Miao women. This dress is not at all uncommon among them now, but the Chinese fashion of loose jacket and trousers for women is evidently taking the place of the old style. Owing to their larger feet they do more work in the fields than Chinese women. We cannot remember ever to have seen a Chinese woman planting rice in a paddy-field.

The Chung-chia men can hardly be distinguished from the Chinese. Perhaps their noses are more flat and eyebrows more bushy than among typical Chinese, and the same may also be said of the women. As they are nearly all agriculturalists, the men dress exactly the same as Chinese farmers and village folk. They do, however, on special occasions wear the Chinese jacket and long robe. When any of them move into the city and engage in trade they are not to be distinguished from the Chinese. There are also literary and military graduates among them.