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0466 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 466 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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450   183. COTTON

cloth » (or « to cloth ») the same connection which had already been asserted by Mêng K'ang. From all the documentation already examined, the conclusion can be safely drawn that the po of po-tieh is not a necessary constituent of the term, and that tieh alone, often miswritten in the forms indicated above, was a sufficient designation of the textile; hence the many terms like

?E tieh-hua,   tieh-i, tfa   chih tieh, etc., tens of examples of which may easily be
collected from the quotations in the P'ei-wên yün fu, the K'ang-hsi tzû-tien and YAMATA'S Index. Tieh, used alone, translates Skr. pata in Tripit. 4X, x, 7b corresponding to COWELL, Divyâvadâna. 4052. From a T'ang source which I have not been able to identify, Fa-yün, in his Fan-i

ming-i chi (ch. 18, Tripit. 41, xI, 87 a), has culled the following notice :   Po-ch'a
(*puât-t'ia; Skr. pata) means in Chinese ' a strip of man' (r fet man-t'iao); it is a strip Opyi fu) of tieh without ' field marks ' ([11 4 t'ien-hsiang, i. e. without lines similar to those separating one field from another); the three garments (of a monk) are all made out of the same man. » A note by I-thing (~~ , viii, 109 a) also explains po-ch'a as meaning man-t'iao. In ordinary Chinese, man is a name of thin plain silk; but it is constantly used in T'ang and Sung times as the designation of the loincloth, or the sampot, or the sarong of Indo-Chinese and Indonesian native populations, which was certainly not made of silk. In Sanskrit, pata means a «strip of cloth », and is translated snam-bu, «woollen cloth », « serge », in Tibetan (Mahâvyutpatti, No. 5864); it is clearly the word meant by Fa-ytin's source and I-thing, and not patta, « silk » (cf. Mahâvyutpatti, No. 5867), with which it is often confused (cf. LiDERS, Textilien im alten Turkistan, 24-28, and my remarks in Oriental. Literaturzeitung, 1938, No. 3, 186). But the Tibetans had little knowledge of cotton, and I take Fa-yün's text as meaning that tieh was, in principle, the designation of a strip of plain cotton. Speaking of Kao-ch'ang, Hsüan-ying and Hui-lin always say that « cotton » is called there tieh; they never say po-tieh. The pilgrims Hsüan-tsang and Hui-ch'ao, when describing the cotton garments of the people of India and Central Asia, always use tieh alone; when we find once in Hui-ch'ao (FUJITA ed., 70 b) the mention

that the people of the present Russian Turkestan used to wear   po-tieh mao-tzû,
I have no doubt that he intended to indicate the colour, and that we must translate « caps of white cotton ». This also explains that po-tieh should have been rendered y«rung böz, « white cotton stuff» in a Uighur translation made from the Chinese (cf. supra, p. 434). An identical case occurs in the Tibetan 'Jans-blun, translated from the Chinese Hsien-yü ching. In Tibetan, ras, « cotton stuff », is the exact equivalent of Turk. böz, and po-tieh of Hsien-yü ching, ch. 5, § 25 ( , Ix, 30 b) is rendered ras dkar-po, « white cotton stuff », by the Tibetan translator (cf. SCHMIDT, Der Weise and der Thor, Tib. text, 120; transi., 149; the other passages in which po-tieh or tieh occurs in the Hsien yü ching, 20 a, 59 b, 70 b, belong to sentences or paragraphs missing in the Tibetan version).

In many languages, confusion has occurred in the meaning of words referring to cotton, woollen, and even silk fabrics; tieh is no exception to the rule. The K'ang-hsi tzti-tien, followed by the Tz'u yüan, gives only one meaning for tieh, that of toe t Ttï hsi mao-pu, «fine woollen cloth » (lit. « fine hair cloth »), and the Tz'û-yüan gives « silken stuff» as the primary meaning of po-tieh. D'HERVEY DE SAINT-DENYS (Ethnogr. des peuples étrangers, Méridionaux, 539-540) thought that po-tieh could be « the nippis cloth of the Philippine Islands, although he admitted