This work is an annotated edition of a ritual manuscript, written in the traditional Zhuang character script. The Hanvueng epic is a narrative in verse about murderous enmity between two royal step-brothers, recited when there is fraternal feuding, death by violence, outbreaks of smallpox, or other such disasters. The theme of enmity is an important one that resonates deeply in the Tai societies on the periphery of the Chinese empire. The narrative touches on many other aspects of life in the valley-kingdoms in the highlands of Guangxi: marriage and inheritance, match-making, slavery and social stratification, agriculture, hunting, fishing, raiding, livestock raising dye-making, wild animals and plants, and the use of ritual to put things to rights.
The Zhuang are a Tai-speaking people and China’s most populous minority. This series presents critical editions of traditional Zhuang texts, written in a character script based on Chinese but modified to represent the Zhuang language. Each volume will present a single text or a number of texts from the same locality or region, including ritual texts, song texts, play scripts, and other genres. Together, these works will serve to introduce many different aspects of Zhuang cultural life to an international readership.
This is a new series with an average of 0,5 volumes per year.