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0094 Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2
Notes on Marco Polo : vol.2 / Page 94 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000246
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Khotan, are necessarily to be located south-west of the T'u-yü-hun. They were Ch'iang, i. e. people of Tibetan stock. Their name, which means « White Orchid », is said to have been derived from a Po-lan shan, « Mountain of the White Orchids », which was at the south-western limit of the territory of the T'u-yü-hun when the T'u-yü-hun, with their capital at Ho-chou, occupied the territory east and south-east of the Kökö-nôr (cf. Pei shih, 96, 8 b; Sui shu, 83, 1 a); and so the Po-lan Mountain must have stood somewhere in the Chi-shan Range of our maps, due south of the Kökö-nôr, inside the first great bend of the Yellow River. From the outset, the name of the Po-lan often occurs in the history of the T'u-yü-hun, and, even if they often had to yield to the more powerful T'u-yü-hun, the Po-lan maintained a sort of independence, and embassies from them are recorded in 561 (Chou shu, 49, 5 b; Pei shih, 96, 9 b) and in 623 (this time in company with another Ch'iang tribe, the

Po-kou, or « White Dogs »; cf. Hsin T'ang shu, 221 A, 2 a; Sui shu, 83, 8 b; Pei shih, 96, 10 b; T'ai-p'ing huan-yü chi, 184, 15 a). The Chou shu mentions the neighbours of the Po-lan, but the only clear name is that of the T'u-yü-hun, correctly stated to be north-east of the Po-lan. The two other names are variously corrupt in most of the different sources (Chou shu, 49, 5 b; Pei shih, 96, 9 b, 10 b; Sui shu, 83, 8 b; T'ung tien, 190, 3 a; T'ai-p'ing huan-yii chi, 184, 15 a; T'ung chih,

195, 17 b; W7ên-hsien t'ung-k'ao, 334, 5 a); the true forms must be it ftf 44   Ch'ih-ii-mu-t'u
and jj5 i; Na-o, to the west and south of the Po-lan, respectively; but so far there are no other mentions of these names. The Hsin T'ang shu (221 A, 2 a) has the bewildering statement that the

Po-lan were called T   Ting-ling by the Tibetans (cf. also BUSHELL, in JRAS, 1880, 528); but this
is hardly possible, since Ting-ling is the form taken in Chinese, in the first centuries of our era, by the native name of a confederation of tribes in Northern Mongolia and Western Siberia. Although some confusion must have occurred here, it does not necessarily impair the value of the rest of the information given in the Hsin T'ang shu : the Po-lan had the ÿ Y Tang-hsiang (= Tangut tribes on the borders of southern Kan-su and north-western Ssü-ch'uan) to the left (= east), and the

ÿ   To-mi to the right (= west), and in 624 the two chou of a Wei and a Kung were established
on their territory. Wei-chou is said to have been 10 li west of the present hsien of Li-fan in northwestern Ssü-ch'uan, and 250 li south-west of Kung-chou (cf. Yüan-ho chün-hsien t'u-chih, 32, 10 a,

12 b), which is located south-west of the a.   T'ieh-ch'i-ying, 230 li south of Sung-p'an in
north-western Ssü-ch'uan. These traditional identifications are somewhat doubtful, since they would locate Wei-chou due south, and not south-west, of Kung-chou. We may suppose that these administrative centres were established in the eastern part of the land of the said barbarians, nearly the whole of their territory being in fact more to the west; moreover, we are told in the Yüan-ho chün-hsien t'u-chih that it was the Po-kou (« White Dogs ») Ch'iang who were at Wei-chou (and this is confirmed by the location of Po-kou in the same region already in 586; cf. ibid., 32, 8 a). So we may suppose that the Po-kou are geographically the predecessors of the modern Jarung,

and the Po-lan those of the modern Minag. The To-mi (*Tami), also called g   Tang-mi
(*Taiimi), and, in the Tibetan form of their name, et a Nan-mo (*Nanma), reached to the west the course of the Li-niu-shui, or « Yak River », the Murus usu or « Dre chu » (Dri-c'u < Tib. 'Bri-chu) of our maps, i. e. the upper Yang-tzû (see « Brius »); and their territory seems to have extended from north of the two great lakes which are east of the Odon-tala Valley (near the sources of the Huang-ho) to the upper Yang-tzü south-west of the two lakes, between Dju-gubu and Sogon-