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The Hmong, former Miao tribe

surnevs

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Can anyone tell me where to find literature about their relationship to divination ? I got the book A history of the Hmong by Thomas S. Vang but the only reference is here that they divined with eggs. As their first mythical king, Chih Yu, looks strikingly similar to Fu Hsi with horns and they actual got festivals where they meets with carrying horns and so on, I have been searching for a possible relationship to them and the I Ching for a while.
 

IrfanK

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I'll follow this with interest. I spent a week or so way up in the far north of Vietnam near the Chinese border in Ha Giang province, the poorest and most remote province in the country, connected only by a very precarious, dangerous dirt and stone road to the rest of the country. And almost entirely Hmong population. They are still in the dog house with the central government there.
 

IrfanK

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The Chih Yu one is a fun read. When I click on the first one, I get a split second glimpse of women wearing head dresses, then the screen goes dark.
 

surnevs

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The Chih Yu one is a fun read. When I click on the first one, I get a split second glimpse of women wearing head dresses, then the screen goes dark.
Just Update to example with F5, then it comes.
First time I saw the Miao tribe mentioned was in THIS pdf with the note:
24) "In Conspectus B it is said, "In early times (King Fu-hsi) used knots of rope to rule the country (to communicate with the people) and in later years the sage changed them into written documents." Among the Miao people in Southern China they still use knots of rope to reckon and to communicate with each other." page 11 in the pdf.
This chapter [Richard Wilhelm, Ta Chuan/The great treatise/2' book. Ch. II part. 13 , pg. 335 in the 1968 ed,] recalls a time in the remote antique and that the Hmong's still used knotted cords back when the pdf suposedly were written ie around the 1920's in NanJing China made me curious: could it be that they too kept to example traditions concerning divination linked to the I Ching alive ?
This I haven't found proof on....
Anyone out there who have found material concerning this ??
But I find it interesting to dive into.
 
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dfreed

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I Googled both "Hmong" "Divination", and "Vietnam" "I Ching" and found some things that might be of interest.

There is one series of blog posts from a woman called 'TaoBabe' where she claims the Yi came from Vietnam, but her evidence, logic, and revisionist history are severely lacking.

I also found some articles about shaman and trance practices among the Hmong people, including a number of accounts from Hmong communities in Minnesota (state in US). One thing of note: sometimes people who enter trance states are called oracles (notably from Tibet, Mongolia, Siberia), but this is not the same thing as the Yijing 'Oracle'.
 

IrfanK

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There is one series of blog posts from a woman called 'TaoBabe' where she claims the Yi came from Vietnam, but her evidence, logic, and revisionist history are severely lacking.
Well, it was definitely used there, at least in North Vietnam. They have a love-hate relationship with China in general, the Chinese classics were on the syllabus, they just didn't want to become a Chinese province.

I did once stumble across some oracle-ritual in the far north of Laos in a small village. Rather brutal, it involved a cow being tied up and speared multiple times until it collapsed. I didn't have anyone who could translate to tell me what was happening, but it seemed to involve examining the cow's organs for signs. I'm not even sure it was Hmong, although definitely one of the hill tribe minorities of the area. Hmong is quite likely, they weren't Akha, they wear all black clothes, wit the women carrying the family's wealth in their hair as silver coins.
 
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surnevs

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Well, it was definitely used there, at least in North Vietnam. They have a love-hate relationship with China in general, the Chinese classics were on the syllabus, they just didn't want to become a Chinese province.

I did once stumble across some oracle-ritual in the far north of Laos in a small village. Rather brutal, it involved a cow being tied up and speared multiple times until it collapsed. I didn't have anyone who could translate to tell me what was happening, but it seemed to involve examining the cow's organs for signs. I'm not even sure it was Hmong, although definitely one of the hill tribe minorities of the area. Hmong is quite likely, they weren't Akha, they wear all black clothes, wit the women carrying the family's wealth in their hair as silver coins.
Which remind me of this:

indian.jpg

"A girl of the Wishran tribe, in 1910" USA (not silver coins but chinese coins !)

from: LINK
 

surnevs

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I Googled both "Hmong" "Divination", and "Vietnam" "I Ching" and found some things that might be of interest.

There is one series of blog posts from a woman called 'TaoBabe' where she claims the Yi came from Vietnam, but her evidence, logic, and revisionist history are severely lacking.

I also found some articles about shaman and trance practices among the Hmong people, including a number of accounts from Hmong communities in Minnesota (state in US). One thing of note: sometimes people who enter trance states are called oracles (notably from Tibet, Mongolia, Siberia), but this is not the same thing as the Yijing 'Oracle'.
According to T.S. Vang, A History of the Hmong, they came from West long time ago (he mentiones well before 3000 BC.) and were for a long time living with the Zhou people but were either driven away or redraw themselves as they didn't want to be living under the Zhou kings domain. I would have wanted here to cut&past the chapter from the book but as my book is physical and hard to scan I can't use that possibility. Anyway: that they lived together with the Zhou people is interesting in itself I think, compared to more passages from their traditionals with to example wearing horns at some festivals and as mentioned the similarity between their mythical king and Fu Hsi. I think there could be more to find concerning a connection - not directly with the I Ching divination but some tales that could also be found in passages in the I Ching, to example "the Nine hills" mentioned in one hexagram text and that there were Nine tribes at a certain point in their long history... well, this a bit far out I know, but more similarities maybe could be found.
 

IrfanK

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A lot of the hill tribes in that whole region did come down from China at one stage or another, sometimes a very long time ago. People have found all sorts of interesting little cultural fossils, the tribes still using costumes and rituals that haven't been used anywhere in China for centuries.

There's a book called "A biography of the I Ching" which talks about the way the use of the I Ching spread throughout the region, Japan, Tibet, Korea, Vietnam, and how it was used differently in those places. I've never read it, just seen some reviews. Might be interesting for you.

I've got no idea about your theory about the connection between the Zhou and the Hmong. It just seems that it would be very hard to prove based on historical records. You might get somewhere with a linguistic or cultural analysis or something. Or DNA testing?
Which remind me of this:

"A girl of the Wishran tribe, in 1910" USA (not silver coins but chinese coins !)

from: LINK
Well, here's a shot of an Akha woman from Laos for you. Not my own photo, I swiped it from Wikipedia. The Akha are a little bit west of the Hmong heartlands, but you still see them around in the same areas. Go now, before they finish the huge highway through the region, part of the Belt-and-Road Initiative.

Akha_laos_11_03a.jpg
 
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surnevs

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A lot of the hill tribes in that whole region did come down from China at one stage or another, sometimes a very long time ago. People have found all sorts of interesting little cultural fossils, the tribes still using costumes and rituals that haven't been used anywhere in China for centuries.

There's a book called "A biography of the I Ching" which talks about the way the use of the I Ching spread throughout the region, Japan, Tibet, Korea, Vietnam, and how it was used differently in those places. I've never read it, just seen some reviews. Might be interesting for you.

I've got no idea about your theory about the connection between the Zhou and the Hmong. It just seems that it would be very hard to prove based on historical records. You might get somewhere with a linguistic or cultural analysis or something. Or DNA testing?

Well, here's a shot of an Akha woman from Laos for you. Not my own photo, I swiped it from Wikipedia. The Akha are a little bit west of the Hmong heartlands, but you still see them around in the same areas. Go now, before they finish the huge highway through the region, part of the Belt-and-Road Initiative.

Akha_laos_11_03a.jpg

Thank You for the tip. I'll search for it.
 

surnevs

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IrfanK, just one question: do You mean the book Richard J. Smith wrote (LINK) ? Because if so I can lend it on the library and it'll help me a lot.
 

dfreed

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"A girl of the Wishran tribe, in 1910" USA (not silver coins but chinese coins !)

.... In the Ching, for example "the Nine hills" mentioned in one hexagram text and ... there were Nine tribes at a certain point in (the Hmong's) long history... well, this a bit far out I know, but more similarities maybe could be found.

I am curious what people think of these similarities / coincidences, etc. - of an American Indian women wearing Chinese coins (weaving them into her hair); or what is the significance with (or between) nine hills and the nine tribes? Do people see - either in terms of the Yi, or in terms of Hmong divination? Or ... are these just interesting things to see and note, even though they may or may not have much significance or connections between one another?

As to Edward Curtis' 1910 photo, "A girl of the Wishran tribe", I'm reminded that Chinese immigrated to the US in the 1800's and 1900's mainly as laborers, and they settled across the American west, and later the rest of the nation. That Chinese coins would become a trade item and and ornament for some American Indian tribes is not surprising, but I don't know of any particular spiritual or divinatory meaning here. But perhaps ...?

As to Nine Hills and Nine Tribes, again, does anyone have a sense of what this might mean, or signify? I've been reading examples of Yi divination practice found in the Zuo Commentary. In one example I found,
"Biwan’s descendants would surely become great, because the character wan (in Biwan’s name) meant ‘ten thousand’, a huge number, while wei (name of his governorship) meant ‘great’."​

What is interesting here is that even though this was part of a Yijing casting (about Biwan's descendants), the diviner based his reading (or part of it) on the meanings of Biwan's name and the name of his region he governed - and his words here have no obvious connection to the Yijing's response. It reminds me of the possible connection - or lack of - between the hills and tribes: meaningful or not?

On the other hand, in the 100,000-plus-year history of human existence it seems quite likely that a particular number - 2, 4, 8, 9, etc. - would present itself any number of times across the world, with either varied or similar meanings ...

... so we have the Nine Muses ancient Greece; the nine planets of Astrology (yes, I'm including Pluto, despite what the scientist now say!); nine forms of the Chinese dragon; the nine Ennead, Egyptian deities; the underworld of the Aztecs which consists of nine levels; Dante's nine circles of hell, and so on ....

So to have nine hills and nine tribes ....?

Best, D.
 
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surnevs

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I am curious what people think of these similarities / coincidences, etc. - of an American Indian women wearing Chinese coins (weaving them into her hair); or what is the significance with (or between) nine hills and the nine tribes? Do people see - either in terms of the Yi, or in terms of Hmong divination? Or ... are these just interesting things to see and note, even though they may or may not have much significance or connections between one another?

As to Edward Curtis' 1910 photo, "A girl of the Wishran tribe", I'm reminded that Chinese immigrated to the US in the 1800's and 1900's mainly as laborers, and they settled across the American west, and later the rest of the nation. That Chinese coins would become a trade item and and ornament for some American Indian tribes is not surprising, but I don't know of any particular spiritual or divinatory meaning here. But perhaps ...?

As to Nine Hills and Nine Tribes, again, does anyone have a sense of what this might mean, or signify? I've been reading examples of Yi divination practice found in the Zuo Commentary. In one example I found,
"Biwan’s descendants would surely become great, because the character wan (in Biwan’s name) meant ‘ten thousand’, a huge number, while wei (name of his governorship) meant ‘great’."​

What is interesting here is that even though this was part of a Yijing casting (about Biwan's descendants), the diviner based his reading (or part of it) on the meanings of Biwan's name and the name of his region he governed - and his words here have no obvious connection to the Yijing's response. It reminds me of the possible connection - or lack of - between the hills and tribes: meaningful or not?

On the other hand, in the 100,000-plus-year history of human existence it seems quite likely that a particular number - 2, 4, 8, 9, etc. - would present itself any number of times across the world, with either varied or similar meanings ...

... so we have the Nine Muses ancient Greece; the nine planets of Astrology (yes, I'm including Pluto, despite what the scientist now say!); nine forms of the Chinese dragon; the nine Ennead, Egyptian deities; the underworld of the Aztecs which consists of nine levels; Dante's nine circles of hell, and so on ....

So to have nine hills and nine tribes ....?

Best, D.
Hi, D. I have been searching for any connections between the Miao-tribe and the I Ching for many years and I can only agree with You that the examples I gave are far out. But even the slightest connections sometimes can lead to more significant connections. Nine hills compared to the nine tribes ? Yes ! Far out and I have only taken it into consideration secondary.
 

IrfanK

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IrfanK, just one question: do You mean the book Richard J. Smith wrote (LINK) ? Because if so I can lend it on the library and it'll help me a lot.
Yeah, that's the one. I don't know that it will have much for your specific quest, but you might get some interesting ideas out of it.
 

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What is the connection between Chih Yu and Fu Hsi?
Hexagram 30.
 

surnevs

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Yeah, that's the one. I don't know that it will have much for your specific quest, but you might get some interesting ideas out of it.
Thank You, I'll order it from the library.
 

dfreed

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... the connection between Chih Yu and Fu Hsi (Fu Xi)? Hexagram 30.
I’m curious what you mean by this?

I did a quick (and admittedly not in-depth) internet search, and one source said Chih Yu is an ancestor / deity for both the Han Chinese and the Hmong.

It seems then that at least in Chinese mythology Chih Yu and Fu Xi are two different beings (who both had horns or wore horned helmets?), and these are not different names for the same ancestor.

Best, d.
 
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surnevs

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What is the connection between Chih Yu and Fu Hsi?
Hexagram 30.
離 (Li, hex. 30)

"to leave / to part from / to be away from / (in giving distances) from / without (sth) / independent of / one of the Eight Trigrams , symbolizing fire / ☲" (LINK)

The connection isn't obvious, neither name nor mythologic caracteristics; the only similarity seems to be that Chih Yu also have horns.
But all the examples I've given are only loose parts I collect to get an idea of whether it's relevant or not. Until now there are only loose ends with no directly relevans.
 

surnevs

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I’m curious what you mean by this?

I did a quick (and admittedly not in-depth) internet search, and one source said Chih Yu is an ancestor / deity for both the Han Chinese and the Hmong.

It seems then that at least in Chinese mythology Chih Yu and Fu Xi are two different beings (who both had horns or wore horned helmets?), and these are not different names for the same ancestor.

Best, d.
I think, like I just answered Rosada.
 

surnevs

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I Googled both "Hmong" "Divination", and "Vietnam" "I Ching" and found some things that might be of interest.

There is one series of blog posts from a woman called 'TaoBabe' where she claims the Yi came from Vietnam, but her evidence, logic, and revisionist history are severely lacking.

I also found some articles about shaman and trance practices among the Hmong people, including a number of accounts from Hmong communities in Minnesota (state in US). One thing of note: sometimes people who enter trance states are called oracles (notably from Tibet, Mongolia, Siberia), but this is not the same thing as the Yijing 'Oracle'.
I remembered this name when reading your post, now I see why: LINK, I did link to her some years ago here. And I agree with You in that tranceoracles are not the same as I Ching oracle.
 

dfreed

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離 (Li, hex. 30) ... to leave / to part from / to be away from / (in giving distances) from / without (sth) / independent of / one of the Eight Trigrams .... The connection isn't obvious. But all the examples ... are only loose parts I collect to get an idea of whether it's relevant or not. Until now there are only loose ends with no directly relevance.
Surnevs, yes I have a sense that these are just bits of information, 'loose parts' that you're gathering here - and that's fine.

My question about the connection between Chih Yu and Fu Hsi and Hexagram 30 was directed at Rosada, since she's the one who posted it. I don't see any connection here between the gua and these two mythical figures, so it made me curious what she meant.

The Hex 30 text (judgment) reads: Favorable augury. Offering. Auspicious for raising cows. (Richard Rutt)​

.... And this made me wonder, could there be a connection between these two figures and agriculture (i.e. 'raising cows')? Is this the connection Rosada is referring to with Hex. 30?

Regards, D.
 
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rosada

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Hi dfreed,
I hadn’t put a meaning to hex. 30 here. I just was reporting what hexagram I got when I asked the question.. Interesting all we really know for certain is that they both wore horns and hexagram 30 is made up of twin trigrams and refers to cattle.
 

dfreed

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hex. 30 ... was ... what I got when I asked the question: What is the connection between Chih Yu and Fu Hsi?
Okay thanks! What you did was so obvious, it went right past me! But now that I know:

* perhaps with hex. 30 we have two bright beings / deities - the two Li trigrams - who provide clarity and offer us protection.

* they also remind us that we coexist and are codependent with each other - as fire is with air and fuel (wind /wood) ...

* ‘auspicious for raising cows’ - hmm, another being with horns, and ...

* Fuxi, is credited along with his sister and wife Nüwa with creating humanity and the invention of hunting, fishing, and the auspicious domestication of animals, such as cows!

* and these are all things - and ways of being - which help us coexist with each other ...

* maybe there’s also a connection between Chih Yu & Nuwa ... as two female ancestors represented by the two Li trigrams - the two middle daughters ...

* and we have ... the Shofar, a ritual musical instrument, made from the horn of a ram or other animal, used on important Jewish public and religious occasions. In biblical times the shofar sounded the Sabbath, announced the New Moon, and proclaimed the anointing of a new king.

Best, d.
 
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surnevs

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Around 2698 BC.* Chih Yu (Txiv Yawg) lost the battle against The Yellow Emperor (Huang-ti) at Cho Lo (Zhuolu). Fu Hsi is said to have been living around 2852 BC. ** where he invented the Eight trigrams. These datings being correct Fu Hsi and Chih Yu are two different persons. But could they have a common source ? (This question not to be answered but my thought on it...)
______________
* A histiry of the Hmongs, T.S. Vang
** Chinese Symbolism and Art motifs, C.A.S. Williams
 
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dfreed

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Around 2698 BC. Chih Yu (Txiv Yawg) lost the battle against The Yellow Emperor (Huang-ti) at Cho Lo (Zhuolu). Fu Hsi is said to have been living around 2852 BC .... Are (these) two different persons? But could they have a common source ?
Since these are mythic beings / ancestors / we may have no idea of when - or even if - they 'lived' or for how long (a 100 or a 1,000 years, forever?); and we don't know whom they actually were.

We're talking about the mythic realms of Raven Giving Birth to the First Humans (Haida First Nations) Zeus; Isis; the Archangel Gabriel; Tawa, the Hopi sun spirit; the Mayan Hero Twins .... but this doesn't mean they didn't have a common source, or that they weren't two or more (and not one) mythical beings - but with common ideas / needs / beliefs which inspired people to conjure them up.

Or maybe they are real, but live in a timeless realm - so that Fuxi. Raven, and the others ... are still with us.
 
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surnevs

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.... since these are mythic beings / ancestors / heroes, we may have no idea of when - or even if - they 'lived' or for how long (a 100 or a 1,000 years, forever?); and we don't know whom they actually were.

We're talking about the mythic realms of Raven Giving Birth to the First Humans (Haida First Nations) Zeus; Isis; the Archangel Gabriel; Tawa, the Hopi sun spirit; the Mayan Hero Twins .... but that doesn't mean they didn't have a common source, or that they weren't two (and not one) mythical beings.

I agree in that mythical beings can't be dated. Could the datings that some experts on the field nevertheless has been giving be reconstructions ? To example by comparisions with the data written by Ssu-ma Qian (Sima Qian), The book of Records (Book of Documents) and others ? I haven't got the clue as to the sources from where those datings has been obtained - but somehow they wouldn't give datings without any kind of material given ? I don't know. Just that some sinologists seems to know somehow around what time such and such happened... (?)
 

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I agree in that mythical beings can't be dated .... I haven't got the clue as to the sources from where those datings has been obtained - but somehow they wouldn't give datings without any kind of material given ?
Surnevs, I am not sure what you're getting at here? Maybe you are just asking a simple question: why would they assign dates to mythical beings, and how did they arrive at these dates?

I'm not sure how or even if that is answerable. And, does it really matter how or why they assigned (perhaps made-up) dates to mythical beings?

Maybe this is just an another interesting question, or a bit of information you're considering. Or maybe a thousand years from now it will be common knowledge that these were actual, real beings, who lived during actual, real dates and times. And we'll know that Fuxi and his sister-and-wife Nuwa did have human faces and the bodies of snakes (or dragon?) .... But until then ....
 
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