The Miao in Hosie's On the Trail of the Opium Poppy


Alexander Hosie.- On the Trail of the Opium Poppy. 1914

We select here the pages related to the Miao in Hosie narrative.

About the Ah-Mao or Flowery Miao.

p. 45. Hua or "Flowery" Miao who inhabit the borders of Yunnan and Kueichou. These have no written language and, as already stated, Mr. Pollard, of the English Methodist Mission, has invented a script for them. The Hua Miao are not allowed to own land : they are the tenants of hard taskmasters, the Nosu, the aboriginal overlords of the soil. The great vices of the Hua Miao, who are much more open-hearted than the Chinese, are said to be drunkenness and immorality, vices by no means uncommon in other lands.

About the Black Miao.

p. 181- On the southern face of the tail end of one these ranges lies the department city of Huang-p'ing Chou, the descent to which necessitates many zigzags. Crossing a stream flowing west, we entered the city, which is well wooded, by the west gate, its trees showing up well against the green bare foothills and the treeless slopes of the range to the north. This country was and, after the lapse of 50 years, still is the home of the Hei Miao-tzu (" Black Miaotzu"). Ruined stone guard-houses and refuges on hilltops, evidences of the struggle between extortion and docility, between might against right, are to be seen on all sides ; but now, mixed with the Chinese, the Miao-tzu continue to inhabit the country, the men wearing black turbans and black clothes in Chinese fashion, the women retaining their black turbans, black jackets, and black pleated skirts or kilts reaching to bare ankles and feet. Those of the women who can afford it adorn themselves with silver ear-rings of various patterns, necklaces, bangles, and rings, while men content themselves with one ear-ring dangling from the left ear

280- In February and March officials were sent to scour the province, accompanied by troops, with instructions to persuade growers to destroy their crops, and, in the event of refusal, to carry out the destruction themselves. In those parts of the province through which I passed I saw ample evidence of the visits of these officials; but the destruction or partial destruction was not in every case effected without resistance, and at a place called Yao-hsi, within the department of Chen-ning Chou, in the prefecture of An-shun Fu, in the west of the province, a skirmish took place on the 1st March between a body of troops
that had to be requisitioned and the opium growers, resulting, it is said, in the death of about a hundred of the latter, who were said to belong to one of the Miao-tzu tribes, and therefore of little account in the eyes of the Chinese.


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