image: traditional Tujia brocade

Play All)Formal story texts: The Stories of Hero Tian and Duke Peng


1.3.1: The Story of Hero Tian
1.3.2: The Story of Duke Peng

1.3.1: The Story of Hero Tian

Tian Jinggui, Dianfang Township, Longshan County
recorded on 19 June 2002

This text tells the traditional story of Hero Tian, one of the three great quasi-historical (c.10th century) heroes of the Tujia in Xiangxi, along with General Xiang and Duke Peng. The tale focuses on the strength and martial prowess of Hero Tian. In the past Tujia society was based on small groups of farmers who regularly trained together as skilled fighting units, and Tujia soldiers were well known throughout China for their success in battles. This is a prepared text, written down using Chinese characters as phonetic aide-memoires to indicate Tujia words.

01 tian3hao1hang2-nie3 pa3pa1.
The Story of Hero Tian
02 lai4, tian3hao1hang2-nie3 pa3pa1 lao4 li3. tian3hao1hang2 bi2zi1ka3-nie3 xie1qi1 ci4-xi3tai2-nie3 luo4 la2 hu3.
Today I'm going to tell you the story of Hero Tian. Hero Tian was a mighty man among the Tujia.
03 guo2 li4 qie3 jie2po1-zu2, wu2 hhi2-xi2 die1, guo2 guo2 wu2 pe2ti1ke1 ga3 po1-bo3 cu1 song1kuo1.
Whenever he finished ploughing, his cow walked home too slowly, so he would put it on his shoulders and carry it back home.
04 ei1 la2 qie2, guo2 qi2bu1li1 bu4 la2 ca1 cu4-lie3 cang3die3-bo3 lu3-lu3, beng4si3 xie2-nie3 luo4 lao4 yi3,
One day, he had loaded a boat with soybeans and was on his way to Changde to sell them, when he came across a capable man.
05 ei1 luo4 lao4 bu4 gu3-lie3, ji3 huo3lie3 mu4nie3 jia2zu1 za2 mo3 kuo3-liao3, guo2 li3: "nga2 xi2lang1."
As the man boarded the boat, he stepped on the boat's bamboo steering pole and broke it. "Sorry!" he said.
06 tian3hao1hang2 li3: "qie4 sa3 tai2 ou!" jie2 huo3lie3 mu4nie3 kuo2ti1 za4 mo3 pi2pi1 zi2-liao3, hu3pa3-bo3 la2-lu3.
Hero Tian replied, "That's OK", and, taking the pole in his hand as though it were a bean, crushed it into powder, which he threw into the river.
07 ei1 luo4 lao4, guo2 qi2bu1li1 la2 pa1 huo3-lie3 li3: "eng1 qi2bu1li1 ga3-bo3-la1 tai2 ya?" qi2bu1li1 za4 mo3 pi2pi1 zi2-liao3.
The man grabbed a handful of soybeans and said: "Are these soybeans dry yet?" as he crushed them into powder.
08 tian3hao1hang2, guo2 qi2bu1li1 la2 pa1 a3, jie2 wo2tu1 za4 mo3 se3si2 zu2-diu2, guo2 li3: "qi2bu1li1 ga3-bo3-da2 qing3mo1 se3si2 zu2 ya?"
Hero Tian also grabbed a handful of soybeans and squeezed oil out from them, saying, "If the soybeans weren't dry how would I be able to squeeze oil from them?"
09 ei1 luo4 ge4-lie3 ka3kei1la3lei1 mo3 xi4ca3-lu3.
This scared the man, who quietly slipped away.
10 ta1nie1, tian3hao1hang2 wu1hang2-bo3 ka3tong3 lu3-zu2, ka3 pu1-nie3 lao1bang1 ha3-xi2 li3, tong3qian3 lie2-ta1-zu2, guo2 guo2 ha3 mo3 se2-ta1 ca2-ta1-liao3.
Later, Hero Tian went to Wuhan to sell timber, but the timber merchant threatened him and wouldn't pay up, so he gave the man a sound beating.
11 tu1wan3 lao1si1ceng3 su2-zu2, guo2 guo2 hi2 hi2-nie3 luo4 jie2ri1ma1 da4xi4, la2 si1 ta2ci1 wo4-nie3 a3ba3, guo2 guo2 la2 nie1-lie3 wo4-ji2-liao3.
When the Tujia chieftain was building his citadel, Hero Tian helped hundreds of labourers. In a single day, he shifted stones which would have taken them more than a month to move.
12 tian3hao1hang2 heng4-xi2 zu2-lie3, tu1wan3 peng3gong1 guo2 a2ci1-liao3. ta1nie1, [tu1si1ceng3] wo2tu1 peng3gong1 le, jiao2zu1 ri1; xian2lao1guan1reng3 le, jing1si1 ri1; tian3hao1hang2 le, jian1jing1 ri1; da4ha3 xian1xi1 bi2zi1ka3-nie3 sa3 tie2ba1 za4.
After Hero Tian's fame spread, he became a favourite of Duke Peng. Later, he lived in the citadel: Duke Peng ruled, General Xiang served as military adviser, and Hero Tian as general. Together, they led the Tujia people of Xiangxi through the great events of the time.
13 tian3hao1hang2-nie3 pa3pa1 ri3-xi3tai2, lai4 jiu1 ai1 he2lang3 li3.
There are many more stories about Hero Tian, but that's enough for today.

1.3.2: The Story of Duke Peng

Tian Jinggui, Dianfang Township, Longshan County
recorded on 04 July 2002

This text tells the traditional story of Duke Peng, one of the three great quasi-historical heroes of the Tujia in Xiangxi, along with General Xiang and Hero Tian. The tale tells how Duke Peng ousted Wuzuocong, freeing the Tujia people in the area from oppression and becoming their leader. In real life, Peng Jian, who defeated the existing ruler of the northern Xiangxi area in 910, primarily differed from his predecessor in initiating a dynasty that would rule the area continuously for a staggering 818 years. The dynasty only came to an end when the Qing court replaced such feudal rulers with directly appointed officials in the gaituguiliu reforms of the early 18th century (see Introduction). This is a prepared text, written down using Chinese characters as phonetic aide-memoires to indicate Tujia words.

01 peng3gong1 jiao2zu1-nie3 pa3pa1.
The Story of Duke Peng
02 lai4, peng3gong1 jiao2zu1-nie3 pa3pa1 lao4 li3.
Today I am going to tell you the story of Duke Peng.
03 ei1 zi1gi1-zu2, ang2 bi2zi1ka3 ong3-bo3-nie3 lang3cang3-nie3 luo4ci1ba1 wu3zuo3cong1 jie3-la1, guo2 ci1ci1 ha1tai2, qie4 duo3 ha1tai2, luo4 qia1-nie3-xi2 hao4ri3.
A long time ago, in our Tujia areas, there lived a powerful man named Wuzuocong. He was illiterate and unskilled, and only knew how to oppress people.
04 luo4 guo2 (null)-ta1-ce1-nie3 sa3 ri3-xi3tai2, zi1ge1 la2 pe1 nie2-nie3-xi2, luo4 guo2 si3 ga2-de1xi3, luo4die1 zuo4 a3-zu2, guo2 zi1ge1 suo1 pe1 nie2-pie3-duo3.
People had all manner of things against him, and hated him so much they could eat his flesh for exercising bride-chamber rights. When people got married, he insisted on first having three nights with the bride.
05 ai1 la2 long1, bi2zi1ka3 wo4ta3 ci1tu1-nie3 luo4 ci1ci1 ha4ri3-nie3 luo4 lao4 wo4ta3 song1kuo1-diu2, peng3gong1 jie3-la1,
One year, an educated Tujia man, named Peng, who had been away to study, returned home.
06 guo2 luo4 qian2la2bu1 jie3-lie3 wu3zuo3cong1 ha3-xie2, guo2 guo2 meng4dong2ping3-lie1 wu3zuo3cong1 ong3-bo3-nie3 tong4 wo2tu1-lie1 jie4 mo3 la2-lu3.
He called together a few men and went off to fight Wuzuocong, driving him out of his lair in Mengdongping.
07 wu3zuo3cong1 luo3ta3gai2-bo3 ye4-lu3, ku1za4 ga3-lie1 ka4-bo3 peng3gong1 da4 la2 long1 ta2ci1 ha3.
Wuzuocong fled to Luota [in Longshan], to the safety of the mountains, where Peng fought with him for over a year.
08 ta1nie1, peng3gong1 guo2 mi1ra1 huo3lie3 wu3zuo3ting1 wu2-liao3, wu3zuo3cong1 ku1za4 ga3-lie1 ra2 mo3 xi4ca3-lu3.
Later, Peng burnt down Wu's base there. Wuzuocong fled from the mountains,
09 peng3gong1 ra4 huo3lie3 wu3zuo3cong1-nie3 si3 jie2tang1ke1 ra4 mo3 dong3-liao3, ra2-ta1tiu1. wu3zuo3cong1 ra2-lie3 se4wu3ping3 [ye4], mie4 zu2-xi2 po1-ta1, ao1 se2-liao3.
but Peng shot him through with arrows, injuring his arm and preventing his escape. Wuzuocong fled to Sewuping, but he could not staunch the bleeding, and died there.
10 wu3zuo3cong1 se2-lie3, peng3gong1 guo2 wu3zuo3cong1-nie3 ang1ngai4 ha3-bo3-xi2, re1ba1cong1, cun1ba1cong1-nie3 lang3cang3 ti3-liao3.
After Wuzuocong's death, Peng won back the land controlled by Wu's pact brothers, Sebacong and Cunbacong.
11 wu3zuo3cong1 tao2 a-lie1, bi2zi1ka3-nie3 luo4die1 peng3gong1 a2hu1 mo3 jiao2zu1 ri1-liao3. peng3gong1, guo2 xian2lao1guan1reng3 duo3 jing1si1 ri1, tian3hao1hang2 duo3 jian1jing1 ri1, da4ha3 xian1xi1 bi2zi1ka3-nie3 lang3cang3 sa3 tie2ba1 za4.
Now that Wuzuocong was gone, the Tujia people chose Peng as their leader. Peng asked General Xiang to serve as military adviser and Hero Tian as general, and together they managed the important affairs of the Tujia people in Xiangxi.
12 peng3gong1 jiao2zu1 sa3 ri1-xi2 ca2, luo4 xie2-xi2 guo2 a2hu1, ye3 hi2 hi2 nie1 long1 ong3-lie3.
Duke Peng ruled well and was popular with everyone, [his lineage] holding power for 802 years.
13 mu2la1, bi2zi1ka3 se1ba1 ri1-zu2 peng3gong1 jiao2zu1, xian2lao1guan1reng3, tian3hao1hang2 suo1 la1hu3 nie3ti3ge1ti1 ri1 mo3 jing2-la1.
Now, when the Tujia hold the 'baishouwu' dance, they sacrifice to their ancestors, Duke Peng, General Xiang, and Hero Tian.






Copyright (C) 2004 Philip & Cecilia Brassett