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0079 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 79 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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Orient, 200-202), SCHLEGEL (in TP, III, 495-510; vi, 247-257), BUSHELL (JRAS, NS, xi', 531-532), RocE mLL (The Land of the Lamas, 339-341), CHAVANNES (Doc. sur les Tou-kiue,169), myself (in BEFEO, iv, 299-303, and TP, 1912, 357-358), HIRTH and ROCKHILL (HR, 151-152), and LAUFER (in Aufsätze... Ernst Kuhn... gewidmet, Munich, 1916, 205-208); add the bibliography in MACOKIN, Materinskaya filiyaciya (Izv. Vost. Instituta of Vladivostok, xxxiii, 2-3; xxxvi, 51-53). The various « kingdoms of Women » must be dealt with separately, and, as far as possible, the notices concerning them examined in chronological order.


The earliest mention I can trace of this kingdom occurs in the Huai-nan-tzü, published in 139 B. c., eh. 4 (ti-hsing hsün). In the list of barbarian countries « outside the seas », counted from north-west to south-west, after the « White Folk » and the « Prosperous (?) Folk », and before the « One-legged » and the « One-armed », Huai-nan-tzû lists the * & Nü-tzû-min, or « Women Folk », and the 1 4. Chang-fu-min, or « Men Folk » (cf. ERKES, in Ostasiat. Zeitschr., y, 65-66, where the translation «from north-east to south-west» is a slip). Kao Yu's commentary (c. 200 A. D.) says that the people of the Women Folk had no beard, so that « all looked like women », but this is a certain error due to a mistaken rationalism. Among the Men Folk, according to the same commentator, everybody had the appearance of men (i. e. never of women), wearing yellow clothes and caps and hanging swords at the wrist.

The same names occur in another work of Han times, the Shan-hai ching (7, 1-2; 16, 2 a), as those of nations in the west, « outside the seas »; there they are written Nü-tzû f kuo, « Kingdom of Women », and Chang-fu kuo, « Kingdom of Men ». The text says that in the Kingdom of Women two women live together; water surrounds them. The commentator, Kuo P'o (276-324), adds : «[In that country] there is the Yellow Lake (, Huang-ch'ih ; in an identical passage, possibly drawn

from Kuo P'o, which occurs in the   Chin-lou tzû written by the Emperor Yüan of the Liang

in the middle of the 6th cent. [5, 11 a], this name is written tx   Hêng-ch'ih or fR   Huang-ch'ih);
women (fu jên) enter it to bathe, and on coming out they are pregnant; if they give birth to a boy, he dies when he is three years of age ». Kuo P'o, and the modern commentator Pi Yüan (1730-1797), pronouncing against Kao Yu's commentary on Huai-nan-tzü, have adduced as a confirmation (7, 1 b; 16, 2 a) the similar story in the San-kuo chih which will be quoted further on ; they were right in their contention, but not when they mixed up two different Kingdoms of Women. For the Kingdom of Men, Kuo P'o explains that there are there « no women » (wufujên; this is not an alternative name of the Kingdom, as stated by ERKES, loc. cit., 66). He also says that the Shang Emperor T'ai-wu

(c. 1600 B.c.) had sent in search of drugs a certain I t Wang Mêng who, passing the Mother Queen of the West (Hsi-wang-mu), arrived at this place where, his food exhausted, he lived on the fruit of trees and dressed in the bark ; he never had a wife, but out of his own body gave birth to two sons, from

whom men folk descended. The T'ai-p'ing ya-lan (790, 4 a) quotes from the lost   K'uo-

ti t'u, a work of uncertain date but prior to 527 A. D. (cf. Sui ching-chi chih k'ao-chêng, 6, 53 b; the K'uo-ti t'u is cited in the commentary on the Shui-ching chu, the author of which, Li Tao-yuan, died in 527), a passage almost identical with the one in Kuo P'o's commentary, except that the two sons