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0089 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 89 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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As we have seen above (p. 679), the Liang ssii kung chi mentions a Kingdom of Women east of the Northern Sea, which owed its name to the fact that a celestial woman had come down to rule it; but the Kingdom was peopled by men and women as in other countries. This sounds like a possible echo of the legend of the descent of the Japanese Emperors from the Sun-goddess Amaterasu.

A last series of texts concerns the north-eastern countries, but on the continent; although no mention is made there of Kingdoms of Women, the association of women with dogs, which occurs in tales concerning Kingdoms of Women in other regions, renders it desirable to include them.

Mi lift Hu Chiao, who was retained among the Ch'i-tan from 947 to 953, has left an account of his adventure, in which he speaks from hearsay of countries more to the north (cf. CHAVANNES, in

JA, 1897, I, 408-409; DE GROOT, Religious System of China, iv, 262). North of the   Shih-
wei (north-eastern Mongols), « there is the Kingdom of Dogs (Kou-kuo), [the inhabitants of which] have the bodies of men and the heads of dogs; they have long hair and wear no garments. They catch fierce wild beasts with their hands. Their speech is the barking of dogs. Their wives are all human and can speak Chinese. When they give birth to males, these are dogs, but the females are human. They marry between themselves (i. e. dogs with women), and live in caves. [The dogs] eat raw [flesh], but the wives and daughters feed like human beings (CHAVANNES misunderstood this phrase). It is reported that a Chinaman once arrived in that country. The wives pitied him, and allowed him to escape and go home. They gave him some ten chopsticks, advising him to drop one of them every ten or more li. The dog husbands pursued him, but, whenever one saw a household utensil of his, he could not help taking it home in his jaws, so that they could not overtake the man. Such is the story. » Cf. Wu tai shih, 13, 4 a; Ch'i-tan-kuo chip, 25, 5 a.

The Hei-Ta shih-lio (c. 1232; cf. TP, 1929, 167) gives a list of the countries which had been attacked by Chinghiz-khan (WANG Kuo-wei ed., 21 a). Among those which had been attacked, but

not completely subdued, the author names the   A   f   Hu-su I-lü-tzû (*Husu = Mong.

usu, « water »), who were the « Water Tatar » (4`   4I3 Shui Ta-ta), and the 1 f No-hai I-lu-
tzû (Mong. noyai, « dog »), who were the « Kingdom of Dogs » (Kou-kuo). The value of I-lü-

tzû is not certainly established; I am not in favour of it   SHgN Tsêng-chih's and WANG Kuo-
wei's correction into I-lü-kan, and of the restoration of the latter form as Mong. irgän, « people »; but my own hypothesis that I-lü-tzû may be the plural of the Imperial clan-name of the Ch'i-tan,

s f Yeh-lü or ; tIJ I-la (TP, 1931, 118, 469; 1939, 24), is also doubtful. A note added to the text by the author himself says of the Kingdom of Dogs : « The countenance of the men is of great

strength (? *   ch'üan-k'uai), and they have hair on the breast; in running, they can catch a
galloping horse. The women are pretty ».

Although Polo, Odoric, Jourdain Cathala, Ibn Ba%lûlah, and others locate the dog-headed barbarians in the Southern Ocean (cf. Y, II, 309-312; III, 109-110; HALLBERG, 175-178), several texts mention them in the north. In Adam of Bremen's Baltic Land of Women, the boys had the heads of dogs, but the women were beautiful (cf. supra, p. 676). Plan Carpine heard of a campaign of the Mongols against people who were said to have the hoofs of oxen and the faces of dogs; part of the time they barked and part of the time they spoke; they lived beyond the Samoyeds, along the coasts of the Ocean. These Cynocephali also appear in the relation of Plan Carpine's companion Benedict the Pole (cf. ROCKHILL, Rubruck, 12, 36; Wy, 74, 138). Although the location beyond the Samoyeds,