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0501 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 501 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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183. COTTON   485

not really a name, but means literally ' old taoist woman', with perhaps some implication of sorcery as in z r tao-yü; moreover, Huang tao-p'o is sometimes called ' Huang p'o' only), who came from a. 'JH Yai-chou (or Ya-chou; in Hai-nan) and taught [the people] how to make the implements for cleansing, carding, spinning, and weaving [cotton]; rules were even laid down for

mixing up reels   sha) so as to combine colours and arrange threads for making designs (my
translation is different from DoRÉ's). So they wove blankets, cushions, waistbands, and handkerchiefs, on which twigs plucked off, round phoenixes, chess-boards, and characters shone out as if drawn by hand. When the people had been so instructed, they rivalled each other in making goods which they sold to other districts (chün). The families grew wealthy; but, after a short time, the old woman died. There was not one who was not grateful to her, and, shedding tears, all attended her burial. Moreover, they raised her a shrine, and sacrificed to her at the season each year. Thirty years later, the shrine was in ruins. A man of the village, e Et fcf Chao Yü-hsüan (this seems to be a hao, and to imply that the man was not a peasant), had it rebuilt; but now it has fallen into ruin a second time, and nobody has cared to rebuild it. Little by little, the name of the tao p'o has faded away and sunk into oblivion. »

An author of the 14th cent., I it Wang Fêng (1319-1388), who, after the fall of the Yüan dynasty in 1368, lived in retirement in the very village of Wu-ni-ching, has devoted to

Huang tao-p'o a poem which has been preserved in his literary collection entitled tf, X   ivu-
ch'i chi. It does not add anything of importance to T'ao Tsung-i's account, except the indication that the shrine erected by Chao was burnt down by soldiers and rebuilt by a Mr ix Chang, whom the authors of the Sung-chiang fu chih (18, 16 b) have been at a loss to identify.

According to the Kuei-ssû lei-kao, 14, 6 b, the Chiang-nan t'ung-chih, in the section on «altars and temples » (t'an-miao), devotes a notice to the shrine of Huang tao-p'o ; but there is no t'an-miao section in the Chiang-nan t'ung-chih of 1684, the only edition to which I have access, and the section on « shrines » says nothing of the lady. Whatever its origin, here is the notice as given in the Kuei-ssü lei-kao : «The shrine of Huang tao-p'o was formerly at Wu-ni-

ching of Shang-hai. Under T'ien-ch'i of the Ming (1621-1627), ÿx p   CHANG So-wang (cf. infra,

p. 438) removed it to 3K   Chang-chia-ping (' Creek of the Chang family ') ;   Z a

CHANG Chih-hsiang (1496-1577) wrote an account [of it] which said : ' In the yüan-chêng period of the Yüan (1295-1296), a person who had first migrated to Yai-chou came back to

Wu-ni-ching, and taught the methods of sowing and planting, cleansing and carding, spinning

and weaving, arranging the threads and sorting the colours, which [were in use] in Min (= Fu-chien) and Kuang (= Kuang-tung) ; on that account people raised a shrine to that [person]'. »

The chronological order here given for CHANG So-wang and CHANG Chih-hsiang is in fact erroneous and must be reversed. As to CHANG Chih-hsiang's text, it is an adaptation, which is not always accurate, from the Cho-kêng lu.

About 1700, P ~;   Kao Pu-chien wrote a poem entitled « Poem on a night visit to the

old site of the shrine of Mother Huang (Huang mu) at Wu[-ni]-ching » (cf. Sung-chiang fu chih,

18, 16 b), which begins : « Chi pei was a product of the southern Barbarians (Man) ; now it is much planted in this region. By weaving it one helps the ' young children' (= the people); the process has been learnt from Huang p'o. »