Yao People of South China [tribe in Hu-nan]

pp. 6-11 recognition of Daoism




"Mention of

Yao Daoist priests (simply yaodao),

liturgies (keyi), receiving the registers (shoulu), and

talismanic water (fushui)

all indicate the recognition of Daoist rituals in Yao society during the Qing Dynasty, at least by the local officials who wrote ... gazetters."


"Writing in 1943, Liang Zhaotao ... pointed out that ... Yao deities and rituals appear to be Daoist ... . ... Yao worshipped the most important deities in the Daoist pantheon".


"Yao documents are copies ... of sources that also appear in ... the Daoist Canon (Daozang ...).

... every Yao village ... had ... "shrines (ci ...) rather than "temples" (si ...). A shrine is generally a place for the worship of ancestors or important deceased heroes ... . ...


Jiang [Yingliang] recognized that many Yao deities, such as

the Heavenly Worthies of the Three Pure Realms (Sanqing ...),

the Jade Emperor, and

the Heavenly Master, Zhang (Zhang Tianshi ...) –

dressed in their official garb – were in fact the most important deities of religious Daoism."


"in Yao ritual manuals, ... the Earth God (Tudigong ...) and the Kitchen God (Zaojun ...) are portrayed as demons (mogui ...). In the Han context these deities ... judge human actions and ... then administer punishments, such as a decrease in lifespan." [p. 150, n. 45 "See, for instance, Arthur Wolf, "Gods, Ghosts, and Ancestors," Religion and Ritual in Chinese Society (1974), pp. 131-183, and Richard von Glahn, The Sinister Way ... (2004)."]

p. 149, n. 22 "Yao deities ... are all important deities in the ritual tradition known as the Teaching of Plum Mountain (Meishanjiao ...), which is practiced by Yao, Zhuang, Han, and other groups living in South China".

pp. 25-26 the designation /Yao/




"Since Song times, the graph used to represent Yao people was written either with a dog radical ... or the double human radical ... . Although ... Tang Dynasty sources employ the binome Moyao ..., medieval authors were much more much more likely to speak of the Southern Man when they referred to non-Chinese peoples living in ... the region known today as Hunan".


"yao ... refers to a glistening quality ... . ... The yaochi ... is a pond on the summit of Kunlun Mountain ..., the land of immortals".

p. 27 nationalities abiding in the 4 cardinal directions from z^on-guo (the ‘central states’), according to the S^uo-wen



totem-animal (putative ancestors of tribe)


Man & Min











pp. 27-28 the "hound" radical in graphs


"hound" radical


This radical is praefix to not only canine animals (quan, gou, lan), but also monkeys (hou, fei, ju, hu, nao, yuan, sun), lions (s^i), and foxes (li, hu); and likewise to jails and prisons (yu, an);


and even to such terms as ‘cunning, crafty’ (jiao), and ‘bold, brave’ (men).

pp. 30-41 transformation of Mo-yao into Yao-ren

p. 33

From "Mo ... meaning "no, not ...", Mo-yao would then mean "... not subject to corve’e.""

pp. 34-37

After becoming subject to corve’e (forced labor), the same people became known as Yao-ren ‘corve’e people’.

pp. 38-39 Dan & S^e

p. 38

"She ... , who live in the mountains, and

the Dan ..., who lived on boats."

p. 39

"The She excel at using poison {to catch fish in rivers?} ... creeping about like rats."

p. 45 the 5 Man peoples

"the Miao, the Yao, the Liao, the Tong (Zhuang), and the Gelao."

p. 46 Pan-hu / Pan-gu, according to the Passport for Crossing the Mountains

"Yaoren ... are the descendents of the dragon-dog Panhu, who[m] they revere as their primogenitor ... . ...

Another version maintains that the Yao primogenitor was the sage king Pangu ..., who created the cosmos."

pp. 50-52 mention of Man in official dynastic histories




"the region known as Jingzhou ... (modern day Hunan and Hubei), which had during the Warring States period become synonymous with the Chu kingdom, ... the Man peoples who lived beyond these districts"


"Jingzhous (also known as Jingchu ...) ... became the Chu heartland only through the course of Chu expansion into the south during which it vanquished several smaller, indigenous states and peoples, including

Yue ... in the east and

Ba ... in the west."


"They divided Jingzhou, with

the Jiangxia, Changsha, and Guiyang commanderies going to Wu, and

the Southern, Lingling, and Wuling commanderies going to Shu."

p. 57 the 5 Streams in Wu-lin

according to the S^ui-jin S^u (edited 515-527 Chr.E.) by Li Dao-yuan

according to the Tai-pin Huan-yu Ji (of the early Son)

Xion, Man, You, Wu, C^en

You, C^en, Wu, Wu, Yuan are the 5 Ba brethren

p. 60 Pan-hu’s don (‘grotto’) / ndon1 (‘wooded mountain’) in Z^uan



"The dog took the girl to the southern hills [Nan-s^an] ... . There she discarded her court robes, ... and bound herself to Panhu as his servant. He then led her over mountains ... until they reached a cave in the rocks."

Sou-s^en Ji

"Panhu , having obtained a wife, bore her on his back to Nanshan ... stopping at a stone chamber [s^i-s^i]."

Hou-s^an S^u

"Panhu’s stone chamber is halfway up the mountain. Several thousand people can fit in it."

Wu-lin Ji by Huan Min

pp. 63-64 Peach Spring Grotto in Din-z^ou

p. 63

"A Yao ritual manual ..., entitled, "The Document for Crossing Meishan," ... describing a ritual to accompany the deceased soul on its journey through the thirty-six caverns of Meishan on its way to the courts of the Ten Kings ..., who will judge it before reincarnation – mentions the Peach Blossom Spring. ... Lemoine [YCP, p. 114] explains : "When the time comes they will be moved to Peach Blossom Spring Cavern ..., where they will await reincarnation." The late tang court Daoist, Du Guangting, included Peach Blossom Grotto among the thirty-six grotto heavens".

p. 64

According to the Yi-jian-z^i by Hon Mai, "writing was discovered on a rock at Peach Spring Grotto". This is described in the Yu-di Ji-s^en (vol. 3, p. 2327) by Wan Xian-z^i : "There was a text which seemed like a heavenly document. The words that were painted glistened." Its poe:m of 32 characters read (in part) as follows :

"The spirit sees human form

The heart speaks meaningful words

Ghosts hear human sounds".

YCP = Jacques Lemoine : Yao Ceremonial Painting. Bangkok : White Lotus, 1982.

pp. 64-65 the Man of Mei-s^an Grotto, according to the Son-s^i 894/14196


their land adjoineth __-z^ou

to the __











Din- & Li-


the wu-di (‘5 Emperors’)

p. 68 one listing :-


Gao Yan / Z^uan Xu

Gao Xin

Yao / Tao Tan

S^un / You Yu

p. 163, n. 211 another listing :-

"the Yellow Emperor is listed as the last of the Three Sovereigns (sanhuang ...), along with Fuxi ... and Shennong ... . Shaohao ... is the first of the Five Emperors in this schema."

p. 69 royal primogentors

from __

are descended the royal houses of __

Gao Xin

S^an & Z^ou

Gao Yan

Xia; Qin, Qi, Z^ao, C^u

p. 68 "Gao Xin and his predecessor, Gao Yang, both great grandsons of the Yellow Emperor in the formulation of Sima Qian’s Shiji"

pp. 76-77 Lin the jun (‘lord’) of the Ba clan, dominating 4 other clans, according to the Hou-han S^u 86/2840


the 5 clans


"Originally there were five clans :

the Ba, the Fan, the Yi, the Xiang, and the Zheng. They all emerged


from Zhongli Mountain in Wuluo."

"There were two caves – a red one and a black one – in the mountain.

The children of the Ba clan lived in the red cave;

the children of the other four families lived in the black cave."


"They then all threw swords in the stone cave, [attempting to] hit the target.

p. 164, n. 228 according to the Jin S^u 120, "all tried to pierce the cave roof with their swords, and he who could stick his sword it would be made Linjun."


A son of the Ba clan named Wuxiang alone could hit it. ...

p. 164, n. 229 according to the Jin S^u 120, "None of the swords of the other four clans stuck, but Wuxiang’s sword hung suspended there."


Again ... each would ride an earthen boat ... . ... Only Wuxiang remained afloat. They thereupon all exalted him as "Lord Lin.""

p. 164, n. 230 according to the Jin S^u 120, "They made boats from earth, carved dsigns upon them, and floated them on the water ... . ... Again Wuxiang’s boat alone floated. Thereupon they proclaimed him Linjun."

{the tale in the Jin Shu 120 about piercing the cave’s roof is similar to the [Norse] legend of Si`g-mund & Sin-fjo,tli, who, with their sword, together cut their way out of confinement -- Jesse L. Byock : The Saga of the Volsungs. p. 46 http://books.google.com/books?id=x8rO2P0VmjQC&pg=PA46&lpg=PA46&dq=Sinfjotli+sword&source=bl&ots=95Qbhn30_u&sig=J4k4MGapryP-20GBcPkD7fSIUes&hl=en&ei=NmRCSsjLIYbDtweanaSgCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2 The Story of the Volsungs and Niblungs, translated by Eiríkr Magnússon & William Morris. 1909-11. cap. VIII}

how Lin-jun slew the salt-goddess (quoted from GP, p. 118)

p. 78

at Yan-yan on the river Yi, "At sunset, the Salt Spirit would come and stay with him. At daybreak, she would transform into and insect and fly ... for more than ten days ... . The Lord of the Granaries [Lord Lin]

p. 79

... thereupon shot and killed her."

p. 165, n. 238

"Linjun presented to the salt goddess a green thread ... . The salt goddess accepted it and wrapped it around her neck. Linjun stood on a multicolored ... (dang ...) stone and ... shot ... hitting the salt goddess. The salt goddess died, and the many gods who flew with her all left." {cf. Irish goddess who was transformed into a green fly}

GP = Terry F. Kleeman : Great Perfection. U of HI Pr, 1998.

p. 80 tigre slain by Ban-s^un of the Yi family of the Ba clan

"there were Yi people from Langzhong who could make a crossbow of white bamboo. They then ascended a tower, shooting and killing the white tiger."

Hou-Han S^u 86/2842

"Seven families of the Banshun shot and killed the white tiger".

Hou-Han S^u 86/2843

p. 84 the 7 families of the Ba clan, according to the Hou-s^an S^u

Luo, Pu, Du, E, Du, Xi, Gon

p. 88 the 7 families of the Ba clan, according to the Fen-su Ton-yi and the Hua-yan-guo Z^i

Lu, Pu, Da, E, Du, Xi, Xi

Fen-su Ton-yi

Luo, Pu, Zan, E, Du, Xi, Gon

Hua-yan-guo Z^i

p. 93 divine revelation on He-min (‘Crane Call’) Mountain (west of modern C^en-du)

pp. 105-106 the sagely emperor, according to the Huai-nan-zi 20 "Tai-zu"

p. 105

"When a sagely ruler is on high, ... silent without sound, ... there are ... no people in the court."

SKQS 848/740

p. 106

concerning S`an-dynasty king Gao-zon ["the post-humous title of" Wu-din (p. 105)] : "When Gaozong dwelt in the mourning hut, for three years he did not speak. ... Therefore, the one who is a sage embraces the heavenly heart. ... Then,

auspicious stars appear,

the yellow dragon descends,

the fortuitous phoenix arrives".

SKQS 848/738-9

pp. 107-109 provenience of the 2 Tai-pin (‘Great Peace’) texts

p. 107

The Tian-guan-li Bao-yuan Tai-pin Jin (‘Heavenly-Officials’-Kalendar Embracing-the-Origin Great-Peace Canon’) was praesented to emperor C^en (32-6 B.Chr.E.) by Gan Z^on-ke.

Han S^u 75/3192 (vide DTJ, p. 155)

p. 108

The subsequent emperor, Ai, accepted this book in 5 B.Ch.E.

(vide DTJ, p. 156)

p. 109

The Tai-pin Qin-lin S^u (‘Great-Peace [with] Green-Headings Document’) was praesented to emperor S^un (126-144 Chr.E.) by Xian Kai : the "divine book" which Gon C^on of Lan-ye (southern S^an-don) had received from Gan Ji.

Hou-han S^u 30/1080 (vide CIE)

DTJ = B. J. Mansvelt Beck : "The Date of the Taiping Jing". T>OUNG PAO 22 (1980):149-82.

CIE = Barbara Hendrischke : "The Concept of Inherited Evil in the Taiping Jing". EAST ASIAN HISTORY 2 (1991):1-30.

pp. 114-117 the ‘Yellow Turban’ movement

p. 114

Z^an Jiao "dispatched eight of his disciples as emissaries ... to ... eight provinces" (-z^ou) : Qin, Xu-, You, Ji-, Jin-,

Hou-han S^u 71/2299

p. 115

Yan-, Qion-, Yu-.

"They subsequently established thirty six military units."

p. 116

"The Banshun Manyi were incited to rebel by the Yellow Turbans".


p. 117

Z^an Jiao, "a man from Julu, declared ... ‘The Yellow Heaven.’ As for the unit commanders, there were thirty-six fang (directional leaders?), who all wore yellow turbans. They rebelled on the same day."

Hou-han S^u 8

pp. 122-124 ‘Heavenly Heart’ & ‘Divine Empyrean’

p. 122

Yao ritual manuals : "All these are issued under the authority of the "Bureau of Exorcisms of the Northern Bourne" ... . They contain the names of such personages as the Three Generals Tang ..., Ge ..., and Zhou ..., and an imposing series if "Grand Marshalls" ... . These data enable us to relate this collection to a body of ritual texts that was first revealed during the Northern Sung. It was called the "True Rites of the Heart of Heaven" (Tianxin Zhengfa ...).The liturgies of the movement were systematized and codified during the reign of the great Taoist emperor, Huizong". [quoted from TY, pp. 23-4]

p. 124

During the Xuan-he regnal period (1119-1125 Chr.E.), Hui-zon decreed that S^en-xiao Daoist temples be established in every praefecture in the empire : "Deriving its authority from a newly conceived highest region of the heavens, the Divine Empyrean (shenxiao), ... the new religion discovered the elder son of the supreme Jade Emperor, namely the Great Lord of Long Life, Sovereign of the Divine Empyrean". [quoted from S&G, p. 194]

TY = Michel Strickmann : "The Tao among the Yao". In :- Rekishi ni okeru minshu to bunka. Tokyo, 1982. pp. 23-30

S&G = Robert P. Hymes : Statesmen and Gentlemen : the Elite of Fu-Chou, Chiang-Hia, in Northern and Southern Sung. Cambridge U Pr, 1986.

pp. 133-134 myths centred on Gui-ji mountain

p. 133

"Only the dragon-dog, Panhu, jumps forward in the Emperor’s court, ... receiving the mandate, ... as if flying on clouds ... . ... Panhu is granted the hand of Emperor Ping’s daughter in matrimony, at which point he is clothed and becomes a human. The couple settles down on Mount Guiji, in Southeast China (present-day Zhejiang), where they have twelve children, six boys and six girls – the origin of the twelve Yao clans."

Guo-s^an-ban ("Passport for Crossing the Mountains")


"Of old, Kuaiji [Guiji] was believed to be the burial place of King Yu the Great."

quoted from NIYCh, p. 10

p. 134

"After ten years, Emperor Yu made an imperial tour of inspection to the east. When he reached Kuaiji [Guiji], he passed away."

quoted from GSR, p. 36

NIYCh = Barend ter Haar : "A New Interpretation of tbe Yao Charters". In :- New Developments in Asian Studies. London : Kegan Paul, 1998.

GSR = Nienhauser (tr.): The Grand Scribe’s Record.

Eli Alberts : A History of Daoism and the Yao People of South China. Cambria Pr, Youngstown (NY), 2006.