Translation:Manshu/Chapter 8

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Translator's note[edit]

There is a substantial amount of linguistic material here which would benefit from analysis by appropriately skilled academics or native speakers.

Translation[edit]

Clothing[edit]

Another style of surviving Yi headgarb, quite possibly descended from the tóu ​náng​ (頭囊).
A Wa headman in a feathered hat, 2016.
The modern headgarb of these Huayao Yi women is quite possibly descended from the tóu ​náng​ (頭囊; lit. 'head pocket') headgarb described in this section.
Chapter 8: Part 1 — Native barbarian customs (蛮夷风俗; mányí fēngsú): Clothing
Original Translation
其蠻丈夫一切披氈,其余衣服略與漢同,唯頭囊特異耳。 The married men all wear drapes over their shoulders, (their?) other clothes are not dissimilar to the Chinese, though their tóu ​náng​ (頭囊; lit. 'head pocket'; ie. apparently a form of traditional native headgarb) are particularly beautiful.
南詔以紅綾,其余向下皆以皂綾絹。 Nán​zhào​ (南詔) uses fine red silk, and all the others use coarser grade black silk.
其制度取一幅物,近邊撮縫為角,刻木如樗蒲頭,實角中,總髮於腦後為一髻,即取頭囊都包裹頭髻上結之。 Their system for obtaining one is as follows: a slit near the near edge forms the corner, carved wood such as Simaroubaceae (Ailanthus) and bullrush form the head, and align it such that all of the hair flows to the back of the head in a bun, which is held up and in place by the tóu ​náng​.
羽儀已下及諸動有一切房甄別者(案:此句疑有訛脫),然後得頭囊。 Beneath a feather feature all items are tied together, (Former transliterator's note: An error is suspected in this sentence.) which completes the tóu ​náng​.
若子弟及四軍羅苴己下,則當額絡為一髻,不得帶囊角;當頂撮髽髻,並披氈皮。 For young boys beneath four (military years?) gauze-like hemp (is used), the foreportion acts as a net to restrain the topknot, and no corner-fold feature will be present. The hair is drawn in to a topknot feature at the crown and released through a felt-leather restraint.
俗皆跣足,雖清平宮、大軍將亦不以為恥。 They are normally barefooted, even the prime minister (清平宮) and military officials, who do not consider this shameful.
曹長已下,得系金佉苴(案:原本闕「金」字,今據《新唐書》增入) Beneath the caochang (曹長[1]) are fastenings of lustrous metals and hemp.(Former transliterator's note: The original's error with respect to the character for gold has been corrected according to the New History of Tang.) ...
或有等第載功褒獎得系者,不限常例。 Or perhaps written records of their department [are carried], though infrequent.
貴緋、紫兩色,得紫後,有大功則得錦。 Expensive silks, dark purple color, are extensively embroidered after dyeing.
又有超等殊功者,則得全披波羅皮。 There are also particularly high grade examples worn by people of importance, which are complete drapes of higher grade skins[2].
其次功,則胸前背後得披,而闕其袖。 The next highest ranking have skins on their chest and back, which tuck in to their sleeves.
又以次功,則胸前得披,並闕其背。 The next ranking again have skins on their chest, which tuck backward.
謂之「大蟲皮」,亦曰「波羅皮」。 These are known as "tiger skins" or "boluo[3] skins".
謂腰帶曰「佉苴」。 Belts are known as qū​jū​ (佉苴).
婦人,一切不施粉黛,貴者以綾錦為裙襦,其上仍披錦方幅為飾。 Married women do not use cosmetics, but wear thin, silk embroidered, single-piece skirt outfits and decorative embroidery wraps.
兩股辮其發為髻,髻上及耳,多綴真珠、金、貝、瑟瑟、琥珀。 Their hair is split in to two topknots, stretching from the crown to the ear, and often sewn with pearls, gold, cowries, ornaments[4] and amber.
貴家僕女亦有裙衫,常披氈,及以贈帛韜其髻,亦謂之頭囊。 The servant-women of wealthy households also have embroidered, single-piece skirt outfits and often embroidery wraps, and cover their hair in gifted silk wraps, which are known as tóu​náng​.

Women and courtship[edit]

Chapter 8: Part 2 — Native barbarian customs (蛮夷风俗; mányí fēngsú): Women and courtship
Original Translation
南詔有妻妾數百人,總謂之詔佐。 The Nanzhao harem is several hundred women, exclusively for the imperial family.
清平官、大軍將有妻妾數十人。 The prime minister and generals each have tens of women.
俗法:處子、孀婦出入不禁。 (In this respect) their culture makes no distinction between maidens and widows!
少年子弟暮夜遊行閭巷,吹壺盧笙,或吹樹葉,聲韻之中,皆寄情言,用相呼召。 The youth parade at night through the village alleys, playing the hulusheng (壺盧笙)[5] or blowing on tree leaves[6] during the beautiful sounds of which they romance and elope.
嫁娶之夕,私夫悉來相送。 On the evening of marriage, the groom goes to present himself the bride's household.
既嫁有犯,男子格殺無罪,婦人亦死。 If the bride is in breach of the law [by being already married], then the groom may kill without legal guilt, including killing the bride.
或有強家富室責資財贖命者,則遷徙麗水瘴地,終棄之,法不得再合。 If the family is wealthy and of means with someone to beg for their freedom, then they may purchase the right to move to the malarial miasma of Lí​shuǐ​ (麗水), in permanent exile, and may not legally return.

Festivals and holidays[edit]

Chapter 8: Part 3 — Native barbarian customs (蛮夷风俗; mányí fēngsú): Festivals and holidays
Original Translation
每年十一月一日,盛會客,造酒醴,殺牛羊,親族鄰裏更相宴樂,三月內作樂相慶,帷務追歡。 On the first day of the eleventh lunar month every solar year, a great meeting is convened, fruit wine is prepared, cattle and sheep or goats[7] are slaughtered, and friends and relatives celebrate amongst one another for three months, putting business aside to embrace the pleasures of life.
戶外必設桃茢,如歲旦然。 Outside those of a appropriate [sexually mature] age elope together in nature.[8]
改年即用建寅之月。 They consider the new year to have arrived with the first solar month[9]
其余節日,粗與漢同,唯不知有寒食清明耳。 Other holidays are roughly similar to Han Chinese ones, with the exception that the custom of abstaining from cooked food for three days around the Confucian tomb-sweeping day (Qingming festival) is unknown to them.

Dining[edit]

Chapter 8: Part 4 — Native barbarian customs (蛮夷风俗; mányí fēngsú): Dining
Original Translation
每飲酒欲闌,即起前席奉觴相勸。 Each time wine is drunk [toward a balustrade, railing or screen],[10] the head of the banquet at the seat of the table makes the toast.
有性所不能者,乃至起前席扼腕的顙,或挽或推,情禮之中,以此為重。 Particular guests must not drunk, and must instead raise their clasped arms to their foreheads in deference, bow or refuse — this matter of propriety is accorded great importance.
取生鵝治如膾法,方寸切之,和生胡瓜及椒榝啖之,謂之「鵝闕」,土俗以為上味。 Geese are afforded no particular elevation in the gastronomy, and are obtained as casually as meat or fish, cut in to cùn (3.5x3.5cm) sized squares, served with raw cucumber and dipped in a [Sichuan] pepper based sauce, a dish known as é​quē (鵝闕[11]), and is considered a local delicacy.
南詔家食用金銀,其余官將則用竹簟。 Nanzhao imperial households eat from gold and silver, whilst lower ranks use bamboo and woven grasses for their tableware.
貴者飯以筋不匙,賤者搏之而食。 The wealthy eat with chopsticks[12] and do not use spoons, whereas the commoners eat with their hands.

Weights, Measures and Currency[edit]

Chapter 8: Part 5 — Native barbarian customs (蛮夷风俗; mányí fēngsú): Weights, Measures and Currency
Original Translation
一尺,漢一尺三寸也。 One Barbarian chǐ​ (尺; roughly 'Barbarian foot') is equal to one Chinese chǐ​ (尺; 'Chinese foot'; ie. 30cm[13]) plus three cùn​ (寸; 'Chinese inches'; ie. 3cm) [or in other words the 'Barbarian foot' is measured at 33cm].
一千六百尺為一裏。 One Barbarian (裏; roughly 'Barbarian mile') is equal to 1600 Barbarian feet (尺; chǐ​) [or in other words 528 meters].
漢秤一分三分之一。 A Han measure-weight[14] is one third of a Barbarian measure-weight.
帛曰冪,漢四尺五寸也。 Their silk is said to be sized in bolts of four Chinese feet and five Chinese inches (寸) [or in other words the bolts are 1.35 meters long].
田曰雙,漢五畝也。 Fields are said to be twice the size of those in Han China, being of five Chinese mǔ​ (畝) in size [or in other words roughly 1/3 of a hectare].
本土不用錢,凡交易繒、帛、氈、罽、金、銀、瑟瑟、牛羊之屬,以繒帛冪數計之,雲某物色直若幹冪。 Commerce is not executed with money, but by bartering items in the categories of silk fabrics, silk, felt, rugs, gold, silver, precious gems,[15] cattle and sheep/goats[16], which are calculated in multiples of silk fabrics and silk, and it is said that some of them are very similar to tree bark.[17]

Architecture[edit]

Chapter 8: Part 6 — Native barbarian customs (蛮夷风俗; mányí fēngsú): Architecture
Original Translation
凡人家所居,皆依傍四山,上棟下宇,悉與漢同,惟東西南北,不取周正耳。 Regarding the ordinary people's houses, they are always constructed similarly to four ‘山’ characters, with a high ridgepole and lower eaves. They are very similar to Han Chinese houses, but always face north-south-east-west and as such do not properly accord with their endemic environs.[18]
別置倉舍,有欄檻,腳高數丈,雲避田鼠也,上閣如車蓋狀。 Barns are separate to residences, and are fenced-off. They are a few zhàng​ (ie. about 10 meters) in height, the upper portion being resistant to rodents, and resembling vehicles in their manner of covering.

Funerary rites[edit]

Chapter 8: Part 6 — Native barbarian customs (蛮夷风俗; mányí fēngsú): Funerary rites
Original Translation
西爨及白蠻死後,三日內埋殯,依漢法為墓。 When a white barbarian (白蠻) dies in the Western Cuan (西爨), burial funerary rites will be performed within three days, and a grave stelae[19] placed similarly to Han Chinese custom.
稍富室廣栽杉松。 Families with some wealth are buried broadly about the fir and pine forests.
蒙舍及諸烏蠻不墓葬,凡死後三日焚屍,其餘灰燼,掩以土壤,唯收兩耳。 Méng​shè​ (蒙舍) and all black barbarians (烏蠻) do not bury bodies, normally cremating them within three days then burying the ashes in the soil, placing but a single tael as a burial offering!
南詔家則貯以金瓶,又重以銀為函盛之,深藏別室,四時將出祭之。 The Nán​zhào​ (南詔) imperial family, in contrast, are cremated to golden flasks which are both heavy and silver coated for brilliance, which are painstakingly concealed from rival families but given ritual offerings[20] at each the four seasons.
其餘家或銅瓶、鐵瓶盛耳藏之也。 Other families may use copper or iron vessels, which are similarly concealed.

Spoken languages[edit]

Chapter 8: Part 6 — Native barbarian customs (蛮夷风俗; mányí fēngsú): Spoken languages
Original Translation
言語音白蠻最正,蒙舍蠻次之,諸部落不如也。 The language of the White Barbarians (白蠻) is the most standard, after which is that of the Méng​shè​ Barbarians (蒙舍蠻), then the other various tribal languages.
但名物或與漢不同,及四聲訛重。 It is notable that their nouns are different to those of the Han Chinese, and do not conform to our four standard tones.[21]
大事多不與面言,必使人往來達其詞意,以此取定,謂之行諾(才勺反)。 Significant issues are not discussed in person, rather messengers are used in both directions and through such methods an agreement is reached, and this custom is known as xíng​nuò​ (lit. 'The walking of promises').[22]
大蟲謂之波羅密(亦名「草羅」)。 Tigers are known as boluomi (波羅密), and also known as cǎo​luó​ (草羅).
犀謂之矣(讀如鹹)。 Rhinoceros are known as 矣 which are pronounced as 鹹 (Middle Chinese /ɦˠɛm/,[23] modern xian).
帶謂之佉苴,飯謂之喻,鹽謂之賓,鹿謂之識,牛謂之舍,川謂之賧,谷謂之浪,山謂之和,山頂謂之蔥路,舞謂之伽傍。 Belts are known as /kʰɨɑ/ /t͡sɨʌ/ (佉苴), food is known as /jɨoH/ (喻), salt is known as pin​ (賓), deer are known as /ɕɨk̚/ (識), oxen are known as /ɕiaX/ (舍), river-plains are known as /tʰɑmH/ (賧), valleys are known as /lɑŋH/[24] (浪), mountains are known as /ɦuɑ/[25] (和), mountain peaks are known as /t͡sʰuŋ/ /luoH/[26] (蔥路), ​dancing is known as /ɡɨɑ/ /bɑŋH/[27] (伽傍).
加,富也。 /kˠa/[28] (加) means wealthy.
閣,高也。 /kɑk̚/[29] (閣) means high.
諾,深也。 /nɑk̚/[30] (諾) means deep.
苴,俊也。 /t͡sɨʌ/[31] (苴) means talented.
東爨謂城為弄,謂竹為翦,謂鹽為眗,謂地為渘,謂請為數,謂酸為制。 The Eastern Cuan (東爨) for city say /luŋH/[32] (弄), for bamboo say /t͡siᴇnX/[33] (翦), for salt say ju[34] (眗), for land say /ȵɨuk̚/[35] (渘), for a request or invitation say /ʃɨoX/[36] (數), and for sour say /t͡ɕiᴇiH/[37] (制).
言語並與白蠻不同。 Their speech, moreover, is different to that of the White Barbarians (白蠻).

Military culture[edit]

Chapter 8: Part 6 — Native barbarian customs (蛮夷风俗; mányí fēngsú): Military culture
Original Translation
每出軍征役,每蠻各攜糧米一鬥五升,各攜魚牖,此外無供軍糧料者。 Whenever departing on a military expedition, each barbarian will take one dou and five sheng of rice and some pieces of fish[38] and will not otherwise be supplied with provisions.
蠻軍憂糧易盡,心切於戰,出界後,許行劫掠,收奪州溪源百姓禾米牛羊等輩。 The barbarian army (ie. Nanzhao army) is concerned with the depletion of its provisions, and is thus eager to fight, wanting to pillage as soon as possible after leaving their borders, thus requisitioning from the common people everywhere[39] all of their grain, rice, cattle and livestock, and so forth.
用軍之次,面前傷刀箭,許將息。 After battle, those who have been injured by blades or arrows on their fronts[40] are allowed to rest and recuperate.
儻背後傷刀箭輒退者,即刃其後(案:此條當在第九卷《南蠻篇》中,是傳寫者誤入於此) Those who have been injured by blades or arrows on their backs[41] or who fled are killed by stabbing in the back. (Former transliterator's note: This identical sentence also appears in the ninth chapter (juan) of the 《南蠻篇》 — the copyist originally mistakenly excluded it here.)
  1. Presumably a type of garment implying a long skirt of processed grass-like vegetation or fibrous material.
  2. The term used is 波羅皮 and failing any other explanation I would presume this may be leopard or tiger skin.
  3. Possibly a period Tibeto-Burman word meaning "spotted" or "striped" or even a compound "spotted hide" related to the modern Liangshan Yi ꁈ₂ popho. n. 痣 "dark spot of pigment in a person's skin." or modern Liangshai Yi ꆭ₂ hluɬu³³ n. 皮革 "leather; hide".
  4. Probably referring to a particular gemstone; English identity not forthcoming, presumably one sourced from modern Yunnan or Myanmar. Otherwise perhaps some general form of ornament, bell or decorative needle (簪).
  5. A very Yunnanese instrument that can still be heard today, see cucurbit flute on Wikipedia.
  6. Another Yunnanese tradition. Blowing on tree leaves creates a lively horn-like sound.
  7. Probably mountain goats.
  8. Explained through a metaphor of peach blossoms and rushes/reeds, but the meaning seems clear enough!
  9. Apparently circa 4th February-5th March, similar to the Han Chinese.
  10. This part is somewhat unclear to me. The answer probably lies in period formal / ritual vocabulary.
  11. A translation is difficult because the meaning of the second character is unclear. If it is taken to mean old, then it would mean "old duck" or "duck of yore", however this would be grammatically abnormal. If it is taken to mean watchtower, then it means "the watchtower (of duck)". More coolly it may mean "duck's mistake". In reality none of these sound like great explanations and a correct or likely interpretation of the dish name remains unknown. It may even be that the second character represents a sound in the native tongue, which may be supposed from other elements in this text to have been an earlier form of the Yi language.
  12. 筋 is apparently a pronoun sometimes used for long thin things and in this period could be used to refer to chopsticks.
  13. Based on period rulers (recovered no doubt from high ranking people's graves) the Tang Dynasty chǐ​ (尺) is estimated to be 30cm (source), however a perhaps more accurate and lower estimate is given over here on Wikipedia.
  14. The text clearly uses 分 as a unit of measure however without detailed evidence as to the meaning of this character in the Tang Dynasty we can only ascertain the proportional relationship which is presented here.
  15. Unidentified gem.
  16. Likely mountain goats.
  17. The final part of this phrase is difficult to translate however I have taken the approach that 雲 means "it is said", 某物色 means "certain things", and 直若幹冪 means "are really like tree bark".
  18. Fairly confident of a good translation here, the final portion was a bit of a puzzle but I have taken 不取周正 to mean "not choose local-area accordance-with".
  19. Roughly 'gravestone'.
  20. Very Confucian.
  21. Of theoretical Middle Chinese pronunciation.
  22. The bracketed final clause is incoherent to me and may represent a statement regarding pronunciation.
  23. As per English Wiktionary reconstructed Middle Chinese pronunciation for 鹹.
  24. Wiktionary
  25. English Wiktionary: 和.
  26. English Wiktionary: 蔥 and English Wiktionary: 路.
  27. English Wiktionary: 伽 and English Wiktionary: 傍.
  28. English Wiktionary: 加.
  29. English Wiktionary: 閣.
  30. English Wiktionary: 諾.
  31. English Wiktionary: 苴.
  32. English Wiktionary: 弄.
  33. English Wiktionary: 翦.
  34. English Wiktionary: 眗.
  35. Guess based upon English Wiktionary: 渘 (missing Middle Chinese reconstructed pronunciation) and English Wiktionary: 肉 (present).
  36. English Wiktionary: 數.
  37. English Wiktionary: 制.
  38. This is certainly fish, and almost certainly individual pieces which have been smoked, dried or fermented for transport. The phrase used is 魚牖, the first character of which is fish though the second (牖; English Wiktionary) has unknown semantic content in this context. In attempted reconstruction it would appear to imply from visual analysis of the left-hand radical of this character "piece" or "chunk" and the right-hand radical somewhat "meat-like" which makes perfect sense in context.
  39. Interesting explained as 州溪源 meaning "river-plain", "river or stream" and "origin", implying "flatlands, valleys and high-altitude locations alike".
  40. ie. Implying bravery in facing the enemy.
  41. ie. implying flight in the face of the enemy.