Chapter 38

Island Nations -- Chau Ju Kua's Works Simplified

January 12, 2022

Andaman (Yentoman)

When sailing from Lan-wu-li to silan, ships might be driven to Andaman if the wind is not fair.

It is made up of 2 islands= one large which is 70 li around, one small and uninhabited.

Its people are black skinned and eat men alive. This is why sailors do not anchor here.

Its people use shells with ground edges instead of knives. They have a relic of a corpse on a bed of rolling gold. This body has not decayed and there is always a huge snake guarding it. whose body hair has grown to the length of two near it.

Near by is a spring (or well ^), feet. Nobody dares come the water of which overflows twice a year and runs into the sea; the gravel over which it passes, after it . been covered by this water, all turns into gold. The changed into gold There is has islanders offer sacrifice to this spring. If copper, lead, iron, or tin is heated red hot this water, it is on it, and then put 5 in ^. an old story told of a trading-ship which got wrecked, and the on a bamboo raft to sailors drifted water, they secretly filled this island. Having heard of some bamboo tubes with and were driven by the current of the sea it, this sacred then got on a to the country of Nan-p’i, they presented the water to the king of the country. Having tested raft, lo where power, its the king of Nan-p’i raised an army for the purpose of conquering that island; but before his with fleet could arrive there, it violent storm, the ships on board were thrown on the shore of this island, and all were eaten up by the the golden bod» and no met with a (-^ J^ man may come For on islanders. ^ ^), this island is the which is silently all men man of the «Strange guarded by the 15 spirit, near the place *.


Islands of 2. Pemba and Madag-asear K’lin-lun-ts’dng-k’i country ((This island. is 149 (?). ^^ % {% in the sea to the south-west. It is adjacent to a large There are usually (there, i. e., on the great island) gveat p’dng (||) 5hirds which so mask the sun in their flight that the shade on the sun-dial is shifted lows it, {^ and water-butt of M B ^ #)- if it, If the great fong finds a wild camel it swal- one should chance to find a p’ong’s feather, he can make a after cutting off the hollow quilPo. ((The products of the country are big elephants’ tusks 10 In the West «there and rhinoceros horns». an island in the season which there are many is savages, with bodies as black as lacquer and with frizzed hair (i^| are enticed by (offers of) food and then caught and carried Ta-shi countries, where they keepers (lit., fetcli off» for ^). They slaves to the a high price. They are used for gate- to look after the gate-bolts). It is said that they do not long 15 for their kinsfolk^. Notes. K’un-lun-ts’ong-k’i or ‘The Zanj (or Blacks) from K’un-lun’. Considering the position assigned this island, near the island of the rue (Madagascar), the use of the name Ts’ong for its 1) inhabitants which we have previously’ seen (supra, p. 126, 130) was given to the blacks from the 20 Somali coast to the Mozanbique channel, considering further the similarity of sound between the name used by the Arabs of the time to designate the big island of Pemba, Kanbalu, we have little doubt that the Chinese name means the cZanj of Kanbalu». Ch6u K’ii-fei (for all of the first and second paragraphs, and half of the third are taken from his work, 3,6*) used probably the characters K’un-lun to transcribe the name Kanbalu, because he saw some connexion between these blacks 25 in the West, with the negritos inhabiting the Malay Peninsula and the islands of the Archipelago, who were known to the Chinese of his time as ‘K’un-lun slaves’. See supra, p. 31, n. 2. The bird pong is the rukh, or rue of mediaeval writers; the story may have had its origin in the Indian legend of the garuda. The localization of the rue in Madagascar was probably due to the presence there of the fossil eggs of the gigantic fossil Aepyornis. The rue’s quills are, 30 according to Sir John Kirk and Sir Henry Yule, the fronds of the rofia or raphia palm. See The Academy, March 22, 1884. According to Gabriel Ferrand (Journal Asiatique, 10* serie, X, 551) they are the Malgash lavgana. The langana is a big bamboo, about 15 centimetres in diameter and 2 meters long, in which the knots have been perforated with the exception of the one at the end, so as to turn it into a water-vessel. The langana is used by a large number of tribes, and 35 particularly by the coast tribes (of Madagascar). Marco Polo (II, 405) also says of the rue that oit is so strong that it will seize an and drop him so that he is smashed to down on him and eats him at leisuren. gryphon swoops bird pieces; having so killed him the Ch6u K’ii-feii’s text has, after the remark about the rue quills= «There are also camel- elephant in its talons and carry him high into the air, 40 storks, which measure six to seven feet in height. They have wings and can fly, but not high. They can eat anything while it is burning hot, they can even eat red hot copper or irons. Chau Ju-kua, quite properly, put most of this ostriches properly belonged. Supra, p. 128. phrase in his chapter on the Berbera-coast, where the1 50 1,38,8 MAIiAT «MEN OF TBE SKA» (oKANG-LAUT). ‘carried off’, 2) In Ch6u K’fl-fei’s work, this island is not located, and after the words Dccurs the phrase= athousands and’tens of thousands of them are sold as foreign slaves ^JC)"- Conf. supra, p. 31, n. 2. Edrisi, I, 58 says that the Arabs of Oman kidnapped children on the (^ Zanguebar coast by offering them sweets. He also tells us (I, 61) that there was the Island of Monkeys some two days distant from the African coast. The inhabitants of the islands of Khartan and Martan (Kurian - Murian Islands) captured the monkeys by ruse and sold them in the Yemen, where they were used as slaves. The people of Kish and of Socotra were great slave traders. T’ang-shu, 2220,8*, says that during the h’ai-yuan period (A. D. 713—742) there came a mission to China from Shi-li-fo-shi (Sumatra) which, among other things, presented two dwarf ^ ^ |_^ ^ ^ women and two women from S8ng-ti (‘j^ seems possible, considering the constant relations between the Zl), also singers 5 and dancers. 10 Arabs of Sumatra with those in the African trade, that these Sbng-ti women were of the same race and country as the K’un-lnn ts’ong-k’i of our author. There was, however, in the T’ang period, an island near the north-east point of Sumatra called Ko-ko-song-chii {or ti), and SOng-ti in the present case may be an It abbreviated form of that name. The T’ang-shu (loc. cit., 6») A. D. 613 as tribute to China «four Song-chi slaves» the second character the name homophonous with 3. iffl as used (j^ f^ may appear as Song-k’i, by Chau Ju-kua. j^ Malay „Men of the Sea" Sha-hiia-kung {fp ^ says the Sho-p’o country sent in 15 j^ ^). «Again islands sell their a slight change of without the dot underneath being (Orang–laut).

^). 20


The Sha-hua-kung are pirates and plunderers of the high seas. They sell their prisoners to Java.

Southeast from this country are islands inhabited by savage robbers called Malonu.

When traders are driven to this country, these savages assemble in large crowds. They catch the shipwrecked, roast them over a fire with large bamboo pinchers and eat them.

The chiefs of these robbers bore their teeth and plate them with yellow gold. They use human skulls as vessels for drinking and eating.

The more one penetrates these islands, the worse the robbers are.

  1. Country of Women in Southeast Asia

Still farther to the southeast is a country of women. Here, the water constantly flows east, and once overflows, or flows out.

This country has lotus seeds over 1 foot long and peach stones two feet long. The people who get them present them to the queen.

In the olden days, whenever a ship was wrecked by a typhoon there, the women would take the men home with them. But they were all dead within a few days. A cunning fellow stole a boat at night and fled and told the story.

The women of this country conceive by exposing themselves naked to the full force of the south wind and give birth to female children.

4b. Country of Women in the Indian Ocean

In the Western Sea, there is also a country of women governed by a queen where only 3 females go to every 5 males.

All civil offices are in the hands of women. Men handle all the military duties.

Noble women have several male servants. But the men may not have female attendants.

Children get their name from the mother. The climate is usually cold. Hunting with bow and arrows is their main occupation.

They barter with the Iraqis and with Ta-ts*in and T’ien-chu and make several hundred percent in profits.

5. Possi

Possi is above the southwestern countries. Their people are very dark skin and curly hair.

They wrap their few years the Lampoon people (island of Samanlia, in the Straits of Sunda) believed the inhabitants of the island Engano to be all females, styled them, in the Across Papua, who were impregnated by the wind; lilte the mares in Tirgil’s Georgics. They Malay language. Ana Saytcm, or imps of the devil)). Col. Kenneth Mackay, 70, says that the natives of the Trobriand Isl-ands off the east coast of New Guinea, have a curious creation myth, according who conceived by the rain falling on them. to which the first human 5 beings were three maidens in the Malay archipelago was known to the Devic, Livrcdes merveilles de I’Inde, 20—29. On the notion of the waters of the Ocean flowing downward, see supra, pp. 26, 75, 9. tO 2) The island in the Western Ocean inhabited by women and its relations with Fu-lin are mentioned by Htian-tsang in his account of Persia, Beal, Records, II, 279, also in T’ang-shu, 221B,6a. Cf. Hirth, China and Soman Orient, 84,200 202. Western mediaeval writers also refer to it; Marco Polo, places it some 500 miles south of the Mekran coast. See Yule, Marco Polo, 15 11, 395—398, and Friar Jordanus, Marvels (Hakl. Soc. edit.), 44. There were, according to the Chinese, other countries of women, in Tibet and Central Asia, see Rockhill, Land of the lamas, 339—341. The P’o-wu-chi (|^ m\ ^), of the middle of the sixth century, mentions a country, or island, to the east of a place called Wu-tsu Sfl.)> in the Great Ocean which was inhabited solely by women. The legend Arabs of an island of women somewhere in the tenth century, see — (^ 5. Best (?). Sumatra. Po-ssV(^ «The country of Po-ssi 20 Ijf). above the countries of the south-west. The is inhabitants are of a very dark complexion and their hair wrap around and wear golden circlets on each arm. They have no walled «Their king holds his court in the morning, a divan covered with tiger courtiers sits in a is curly. They their bodies cotton cloth with green (or blue) flowers (or spots), make When skins. their obeisance when he sits cross-legged on withdrawing from his presence, by kneeling down. When 05 cities. his going out, the king hammock (|^ ^), or rides an elephant, followed by a body-guard men carrying swords and shouting. The people eat cakes of over an hundred of flour, and meat; the food is 30 put in earthenware vessels, from which they help themselves with their hands. Note. This a quotation from Ling-wai-tai-ta, Our author has slightly changed the nThe country of Po-ssi is above (or «on» 35 tte south-western Ocean)). Po-ssi in Chinese mediaeval works is usually t" ) Persia here it seems to be some country or tribe of south-eastern Asia, inhabited by Negritos; we might expect to find it in or near the Malay Peninsula. Gerini, Researches, 429, 679, 681—682, arrives at is wording of the first 3,6’’. phrase, which, in the original, reads the conclusion that the Po-ssi of our text, is doubtless the same as de Barros’ Lambrij, which adjoins Daya, which, in turn, adjoins Acheen. Besi or Basi homonymous oThe name itself, he says, may be Lambesi, i. e., 40 being merely the ordinary prefix meaning village a petty state on the river on the west coast of Sumatra immediately belor/Acheh, upon which it borders)). — lam —1,38,8-7

  1. Mog-reb-el-aksa.

The king He


(ft of Mo-k’ie-la reads every day the Scriptures and prays to Heaven. wears a turban, clothes of wool (or camel’s hair foreign fashion, and red leather boots. The % ^) ornamented religious observances (^ in 20 |^) are the same as with the Ta-shi. “Whenever the king goes forth, he rides a horse, • and a copy of the Book of the Buddha of the Arabs him Mo-k’ie-la), each with walls and markets. It has an hundred who is carried before on the back of a camel. Over five hundred cities are under the rule (of myriad of soldiers 25 are all regularly mounted. The people eat bread and meat; they have wheat but no rice, also cattle, sheep and camels, and Mo-k’ie-la) is fruits in two hundred very great variety. The sea (on the coast of feet deep, and the coral-tree is found in it. Note. Mo-k’ie-la, in Cantonese Mak-k’i-lap, must be the 30 Dar el-Mogreb, or the Mogreb-el- aksa «the Far Wests of the Arabs. Ch6u K’tt-fei (supra, p. 24) is, apparently, the first Chinese author to mention this remote country by name, he calls it Mo-k’ie (the character la has been inadvertently omitted in his work), but he knew only its name. Conf. supra, pp. 138, line 36, and 142, line 6, and on the coral-tree, 35


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