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0165 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 165 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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109 A. CAMOCAS   149

is Ch. k- followed by a palatal vowel; and k- before a palatal vowel remains k- in kim. We may perhaps get over the difficulty by arguing that the difference of treatment is due to the fact that in the case of ch'i (*k'jie) the initial was aspirate. But the difficulty is still greater with the final : there is nothing in the pronunciation of ch'i at any time or in any dialect which could explain the final -w of kimhâw. On the other hand, I do not think that we should discard the oldest form kimhâw in favour of the latter kimha; the form with -w cannot be a textual error since it occurs in three different authors and is moreover supported by the later kimhâb. I have no solution to suggest on this point.

YULE'S   : chin-hua (*kiam-xwa), «gold flower », won the support of HIRTH, who said h
had found the term listed in the Chinese dictionary P'ien-tzti lei-pien in the sense of « sil embroidery ». Even this is not quite correct, apart from the fact that kimhâw or « camocas » was not embroidered. « Gold flowers » were often used as ornaments in the form of metal flowers stuck into the hair, woven ones in textiles, embroidered ones on shoes, pasted ones on paper, etc. The term was even employed figuratively for decorations which did not always represent flowers; but such mentions are not tantamount to a specific use which could provide the original of kimhâw. Moreover, chin-hua implies gold, and we have seen that the « camocas » was not a « gold brocade ». Yet I am far from rejecting chin-hua entirely. It has a certain phonetic advantage, inasmuch as the -h- of kimhâw would regularly render the initial of hua (*x`va) ; as to the final -âw, it might be explained as a metathesis of Ch. '°a. The « kincob », if not the « camocas », was perhaps sometimes partly woven with gold thread. Even in China, we find in the Mongol period (YS, 78, 4 b,

8a; cf. Br, ii, 125) a technical term   It chin-chin, «gold damask silk » (consequently real « gold
brocade », and in fact with two different values; earlier examples of chin-chin are of an inconclusive literary character). Chin-hua were applied on red silk damask (hung chin) in a type of official car of the Sui dynasty (Sui shu, 10, 2 b); also during the Chin (Jucen) dynasty, it was the privilege of the highest officials to use chin-hua for the « mud-avoiding » panels of their saddles (Chin shih, 43, 3a); unfortunately, we are left in the dark as to the real meaning of chin-hua in this last case. In the Middle Ages, the « damask silks » (chin) which were mostly sent abroad were those from Chien-ning-fu in Fu-chien (see « Quenlinfu ») ; they are referred to either as « Chien-ning chin », or as « Chien-yang chin », Chien-yang being the name of a district to the north-north-west and within the territory of Chien-ning-fu (cf. Yii-ti chi-sit-Mg, 129, 7a, mentioning the red [hung] chin and green [lii] chin of Chien-yang; the «Chien-yang chin» exported to Borneo according to Chao Ju-kua, HR, 156; the «Chien-ning chin» exported to Cambodia according to the Tao-i chih-lio, TP, 1925, 107). Now it just happens that the Yüan-ho chün-hsien t'u-chih of the early 9th cent., in its list of five products which Chien-chou (an earlier name of Chien-ning-fu) had to send as tribute to the Court in the k'ai-yiian period (713-741), includes 4 X a chin-hua lien, «gold flower lien », a term which I have not found used anywhere in the whole book for the tribute of any other place. The value of lien is not very clear. Lien was the designation of a fairly strong silk fabric (, chien) after it had been boiled. It may well be that the shortened term chin-hua « gold-flower », had become the popular name of the damask silk of Chien-ning among the tradesmen of southern China, and as such was heard by Arabs and Persians who transcribed it kimhâw. For want of a Chinese term of suitable meaning which would begin with chin (*kiam) and end