A Study on the Relationship Between Gao Family in Yaoan and Mu Family in Lijiang

A Study on the Relationship Between Gao Family in Yaoan and Mu Family in Lijiang

Yu Jiahua

Yunan Normal university

The political, economic, cultural and marriage relationships and influences among Tusi (tribal chiefs) is an important issue in the area of ethnic study. This paper is a case study on the relationship between two Tusi in southwest China: the Mu family in Lijiang and Yao family in Yaoan in the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

According to The Family Tree of the Gao written in Chongzheng period in the Ming Dynasty and The Genealogical Chronicle of the Mu Family written in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, during two hundred years from 1488 to1745, six generations of the Gao family such as Gao Feng were married with the Mu Tusi’s daughters and nieces, while two generations of the Mu Tusi such as the Mu Zhong were married with the daughters of the Gao Tusi. Eight generations’ marriages between two families helped them to establish a close relationship, and they supported each other.

During the long interaction and communication, the two families shared the similar values. For example, The Gao Family Precepts mentioned the rules of “be loyal to the sovereign and honor one’s parents”,while the Mu family taught their children to “be loyal to the sovereign and respect ancestors”. These values are good for local security and ethnic unity, and also good for forming and developing patriotism.

Both families were interested in learning cultures of their neighbor groups,especially the Han culture. Some members of both families could skillfully write Chinese poems and had made a great achievement. The Mu family members were good at writing Chinese poems, and published more than ten poems anthologies such as Poetry Anthology of the Snow Mountain. The Gao family was famous for writing chronicles and academic books, and published several books such as Chronicles of Jizu Mountain. The achievements of both families have richened the culture of the Chinese nation.

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