Page:The Chinese Empire. A General & Missionary Survey.djvu/335

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261
THE PROVINCE OF KWEICHOW

Unlike the Miao, they do not seem to be split up into separate tribes. In different parts of the province they are called by different names: Chung-chia about Kweiyang Fu, Yü-chia about Anshuen Fu, and Suei-chia about Tushan-chow. The Chinese mostly call them T'u-ren (natives) and themselves K'eh-chia (immigrants), which shows how the Chinese regard them. The dialects in their several districts vary, but not so much as to render them quite unintelligible to one another. We have spoken of them as Chung-chia, which is one of the names they have given themselves among the Chinese or the Chinese have given them. The words are Chinese. "Chung" possibly means the second or younger of two brothers; "chia" means family or tribe. Another explanation is that Chung-chia means heavy armour, and refers to the sort of armour worn by them in ancient times. Etymological explanations are not always satisfactory. About Kweiyang Fu they call themselves "Bu-yuei" in their own language. "Bu" is a personal prefix, and what "yuei" means we are unable to say.

We have not been able to discern among them any old legends handed down from prehistoric times. If ever they possessed such legends their wish to be thought Chinese and the claims that their ancestors were Chinese immigrants from Kiangsi is a potential reason why these should be neglected and at length forgotten. Probably elsewhere among them others may be more successful in the search for legends than we have been.

Like the Miao and Chinese, they live in constant dread of demons. For all these people the spirit world is not far off, and is peopled by unseen intelligencers whose constant interference in human affairs is not to the advantage of those concerned. The Chung-chia do not build temples in their villages as the Chinese do, though in religious matters they seem to have copied the Chinese more than the Miao have done. At the entrance to their hamlets little shrines are often built in which are sometimes rudely carved images and sometimes only unhewn stones to represent the spirits of the land. They sacrifice a bull or cow to deceased