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0537 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.1 / Page 537 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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183. COTTON   521

as being « sowed » by means of the navel, or the shin-bone, or the horns, Li Shih-chên adds : «The three versions are slightly different, and one does not know what was actually sowed; but the truth must be what is said by Liu [Yü] (in the Hsi-shih chi). That too is, however, mysterious; such are the wonders of nature ! »

Wu Lai's sheep, whose shin-bone was sowed, might be said to be a it ff   ku-chung

yang, a «bone sowed sheep », and Hsü Sung, who had heard of the tradition, inquired in vain about this «bone sowed sheep » when travelling in Chinese Turkestan from 1812 to 1816 (cf. his

Hsin-chiang fu, 22 a). HUNG Liang-chi (1746-1809), the author of the Jl n   51 fltj; Hsiao-
tu-shu-chai tsa-lu (Hung Pei-chiang ch'iian-chi ed., 1st series, i, 19-20) has been more successful,

or more credulous. After repeating Chang Shou-chieh's quotation from the I-wu chih, which gives «Ch'in» instead of «Ta-Ch'in », Hung Liang-chi adds on his own account : «This is what is now called ku-chung yang (' hone sowed sheep' ). When formerly I was in Ch'in (= Shàn-hsi), I asked Ordos tribute envoys, and they said the same (as in Chang Shou-chieh's quotation). They also said that this species was produced only by sowing sheep bones. I suspect that such was also the case in ancient times. »

But this ku-chung yang, «bone sowed sheep », had also been popularly altered to 41.

ku-chung yang, « sheep whose bones are heavy ». A paragraph is devoted to the latter name in

the   it   n Ch'a-yü k'o-hua of (in   j JUAN K'uei-shêng (1731-1789; I-hai chu-ch'ên ed.,
8, 2) : « The ku-chung yang ( 'sheep whose bones are heavy') is produced among the Mussulmans (Hui-tzû) outside the boundaries in Pu-ha-la (Bokhara), which can be reached by going some twenty days west of Yeh-êrh-ch'iang (Yarkänd). The sheep produced are of small size and poor in flesh; but their bones are extremely heavy. The Mussulmans did not think much of them, but, after the Great ( Imperial) Army had subdued Yeh-êrh-ch'iang (i.e. after 1758), these [sheep] by degrees penetrated into China. At the beginning, caps were made of their [fur], and they would cost twenty to thirty taels; in recent days they do not cost more than ten taels, and fur gowns are also made of them. Recently I heard that the whole range of mountains to the

south-west of An-chi-yen (Andijan) was all [full] of such [sheep].   The black ones, however, are
extremely numerous; of grey ones, there is not one out of ten, and the price [of these] is ten times higher. I say that only a few years will pass before these [' heavy bone sheep'] will cost the same as ordinary sheep. After a greater lapse of time Shàn- [-hsi] and Kan [-su] will also produce

them everywhere. Small boys in the streets speak of 4i   ku-tung, or i j] ku-t'ung, which
shows how hearsay tradition can be inaccurate ... » It is hard to see what JUAN K'uei-shêng means by the last sentence. Ku-tung, more usually written ,t j;: ku-tung, «work of art», «curio », is

often said, though without proof, to have been altered from   j{ß] ku-t'ung, «old bronze » (see the
Introduction to the Ku-t'ung chih by Li T'iao-yüan), but that offers no relation to the ku-chung yang, the name of which does not seem to have ever popularly become ku-tung or ku-t'ung. And it would be absurd to imagine that ku-tung, which goes hack at least to Sung times, might have been altered from the ku-chung of ku-chung yang.

Apart from the final sentence on ku-tung or ku-t'ung, the same passage, in a somewhat

shorter form, occurs in the    Hsi-yü wên-chien lu, a work on Central Asia by ,L -j-

-- Ch'i-shih-i, tzû    Ch'un-yuan, which exists also, in more or less different redactions, under