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0487 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 487 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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183. COTTON   471

far as to say that the transcription was ?t' ~   so-to-mu, but mu (*muk) of course means

« tree » and is purely Chinese; moreover, it is not regularly attached to so-lo, even when the latter term is a designation of a « cotton tree ». WATTERS'S explanation long remained unchallenged, and, apart from the final mu, I formerly accepted it (BEFEO, iv, 173). LAUFER (Sino-franica, 491-492) then proposed another derivation, from Lolo sala, « cotton » (P'u-p'a sala, Cöko sölö). In TP, 1921, 83, I gave my reasons for renouncing sâlmali, and felt inclined to accept LAUFER'S view. I still hold sâlmali to be impossible, because, as we have seen above, all the Chinese transcriptions of this word suppose a s- initial, not s- as in so-lo ( < sala, as well attested as sâla), and because too much of the original word would thus be omitted. But the derivation from Lolo sala is not evident,and I now think that this too may have to be abandoned.

LAUFER started from a quotation he found in the Pên-ts'ao kang-mu (36, 72 b) : «The various Nan-chao Man do not breed silkworms. They merely collect the white floss inside the seeds of theme'g so-lo tree (mu), which they make into threads and weave into strips called it x so-lo lung tuan, ` so-lo covering damask ' » (R tuan is the character which is now,

though irregularly, written   tuan, and means « satin », but also « cotton damask »). In the
Pên-ts'ao kang-mu, this was given as occurring in the Nan-yüeh chih, and LAUFER accepted it. We have already been confronted with an anachronistic quotation from the Nan-yüeh chih; the case is the same here, and LAUFER might have noticed that the Nan-yüeh chih, written in the 5 th cent., could not have mentioned the name Nan-chao which did not exist until the 7th cent. But, in the present case, the quotation is genuine, and only the source is erroneously indicated. The same text, without indication of origin, occurs in the Hsii po-wu chih (Tzti-shu po-chung ed., 7, 2 b; WATTERS refers to this passage), a work of the middle of the 12th cent. (cf. Ssû-k'u..., 142, 47), but there it begins with « The various Man of the kingdom of P'iao » (_= Pyû, the ancient name of Burma). It is also given, at greater length, in the T'ai-p'ing yü-

lan (961, 3 a), but under a corrupt rubric 4A   mu-p'o-lo, due to the usual confusion of so
and p'o, and to a graphic corruption of lit shou, «to collect », into I mu, «to tend cattle »; as it no longer made sense, mu was taken as part of the name of the tree. The text is as follows :

«The Aj•   Nan-i chih says : The Nan-chao abundantly collect (mu; read shou) the seeds
of the p'o-lo (read so-lo) tree (shu), break their husk, the inside of which is white like willow catkins (liu-hsü), make this into threads and weave it into square strips, which they cut to make

covering damask ' (lung tuan). Men and women all wear it. The kingdom of P'iao, the Mich'ên and the [Mi-]no (cf. BEFEO, iv, 171, 172) all throw on (VA p'i) p'o-lo (read so-lo) covering damask '. » Although the quotation in the Pên-ts'ao kang-mu is not directly taken from the

T'ai p'ing yü-lan, it seems probable that it is the title Nan-i chih which has been altered to Nanyiieh chih. As to Nan-i chih itself, it is the name under which the T'ai-p'ing yü-lan cites the Man shu, written in 864 (cf. BEFEO, iv, 132, 172; Man shu, 49 a). Our text of the Man shu, recovered from the Yung-lo ta-tien, is often corrupt, but the work is of first-rate importance. We read in it (Chien-hsi-ts'un-she ed., 31 a-b) : « West of the city (ch'êng) of Yin-shêng, the city of Chih-nan, Hsün-chuan and Chi-hsien (these are all places or regions in western Yün-nan), the Fan and Man tribes do not breed any silkworms. They merely collect the seeds of the p'o-lo (read so-lo) tree (shu), break their husk, the inside of which is white like willow catkins, and