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An Introduciton to Shexiang Museum and Guizhou Xuanwei Government Office

Author:zxm    From:   Time:2017-06-14   Browse:   Size:  Big  Middle  Small

An Introduciton to Shexiang Museum and Guizhou Xuanwei Government Office

ⅠShexiang Museum

  1. Biography for Madam SheXiang

Shexiang, whose Yi name is is Shezi, was born at the end of Yuan dynasty and grew up at the beginning of Ming dynasty. She is the daughter of Sichuan Linzhou governor and Yi tribe Chelejun Hengshe Madam. In 1375, she got married with Longzan’aqi, the leader of Mo tribe of Yi in Shuixi when she was 17. She often helped her husband to deal with government affairs after their marriage. In 1381, her husband died and her son was too young to inherit his father’s position. So Shexiang, who was just 23 at that time, decided to take on the heavy responsibility to hold the position of Guizhou Xuanwei envoy.

During the period of Shexing’s governing, ZhuYuanzhang, Taizu of Ming, decided to “operate and administrate the south wasteland”. He sent the two generals FuYoude and Muying to suppess the remnant troops of Liang King of Yuan dynasty from Sichuan and Hunan, by way of Guizhou into Yunnan. At that time, the remnant Yuan force in Yunnan was colluding with the chiefs of Wusa(Weining today) and Mangbu(Zhenxiong in Yunnan today) to prevent Ming troops getting into Yunnan. After careful consideration, Madam Shexiang decided not to get involved into the whirlpool of setting up a separatist regime of the southwest and separation from the main land. On the contrary, she supported Ming troops and provided provisions and wento to Wusa and Mangbu in person to tell the chiefs the situation and persuaded them to give up their resistance, which gave Ming troops a smooth way into Yunnan and promoted the unification of the country.


In 1384, Ming court sent Ma Ye, the provincial commander of Guizou, to Shuixi, who looked Shexiang as “barbaric woman in ghost place” because of his own big Hanism. He was angry with Shexiang’s governing of Guizhou. He killed Yi people massively when he asked the soldiers to open Puding courier station and asked Shexiang to pay taxes. At that time, drought came to Guizhou and there was no grains to harvest. People got into the very difficult situation and no taxes could be paid. Shexiang presented many time the pamphlet to explain the reason while Mahua provoked troubles in advantage of the difficulty “to put Shexiang at court and ask soldier beat the back of Shexiang with a lash, trying to insult Shexiang to make her leading troops to fight and then send Ming troops to suppress to abolish the governing of Xuanfu envoy instead of government officials.” Forty-eight chiefs subordinating to Shexiang hated Ma Ye for a long time, who were angrier after they heard of the matter and took lots of soldiers to gather at the troop gate of Shexiang, swearing to help Shexiang fight against Ma Ye. The war was on the verge, but Shexiang understood the situation thoroughly and did nothing but to tell them that revolting was not what she want to do. She revealed Ma Ye’s ambition and tricks in public, thus avoiding a war that might bring disaster to different minorities in Guizou. In the same year, through the introduction of Liu Shuzhen, wife of deputy governor Song Qin, to ZhuYuanzhang, Shexiang went to the Capital to tell Zhu the truth, who deeply understood the influence of Guizhou political situation to the whole southwest and wanted to kill Ma Ye under the strategy of “killing one person to pacify the place”. He asked Shexiang what she could do to pay back. Shexiang said, “I am willing to ask my people never to make troubles from generation to generation and to build roads among the mountains”. Zhu was very happy to present her hereditary costumes and punish Ma Ye. When Shexiang went back to Guizhou, her subordinating chiefs all admired her calmness and ways of deal with matters.

Inorder to realize her promise, Shexiang built two post roads, taking Pianqiao(Shibing county today) as the center, one leading to the west, passing Guiyang and Wusa to Wumeng(Zhaotong in Yunnan today), the other leading to the north, passing Caotang(Weng’an today) to Rongshan(Meitan today), which took Longchang, Luguang, Guli, Shuixi, Shexiang(named after Madam Shexiang), Jinji, Geya, Guihua, and Bijie, the nine post places into Guizhou and opened the way to Sichuan, Yunnan, and Hunan, promoting the contact of minorities, improving the development of social culture and economy, stabilizing the political situation in the southwest, and ensuring the relationship of subordination to Ming Dynasty. Therefore, Zhu Yuanzhang once said, “Shexiang’ submission is better than getting 10 thousand strong soldiers.”

Shexiang went to Jinling for seven times and was deeply influenced by zhongyuan culture. After the opening of post roads, she hired many Han learners and built school to teach children from different minorities. In 1390, she sent in person her son A Qi Longdi to study in the capital imperial college. Zhu Yuanzhang once said to teachers in the imperial college, “You should be good at teaching and make the students successful in learning so as not to let down the learning desire of student from the remote area.” When her son graduated from the college, Zhu presented him the court costume of third level and hereditary dress and gold belt, and gave him a family name “An”.

In 1396, Shexiang died because of illness when she was just 38 years old. Zhu sent special ambassador to express his condolence, presenting her the name of “Shunde Madam of Da Ming” and building tombs and memorial temple along the bank of Xima pool.

  1. An Introduction to Shexiang Museum

Shexiang Museum, named after Madam Shexiang, is a comprehensive museum of Yi history and culture, built in March, 1993 and completed in April, 1994, which was named “Guizhou Patriotism Education Base” by the Committee and Government of Guizhou, and in 2006, was named by the national committee of China “Nationwide National Unity Education Base”. Since its opening, leaders of the Party and country, such as Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao, Qian Weichang, Fei Xiaotong, Xiao Ke, Wang Zhaoguo, and Jiang Zhenghua and so on, visited the museum one after another. Now it has received visitors both home and abroad up to more than 200,000. It has become the base of patriotism, national unity, Yi culture study and Yi ancient books compilation, collection and protection. The museum was built in the model of the manor of ancient Yi Chiefs, which permeate dense traditional Yi culture atmosphere. Whatever the carving and decoration of doors and windows, the moulding of beam columns, especially the flame shape decoration around windows and on roofs, all showed that Yi minority is a nation of fire. The museum covers an area of 20,666 square meters with its building area 1,380 square meters, including 5 exhibition halls(i.e., cultural relics hall, synthetic hall, center hall, Yi costumes hall, and production and life hall) , one material center, and handwriting exhibition hall, in which different cultural relics , handed down from the development of the frontiers of the country by Yi people at different periods, were displayed and exhibited, which fully demonstrated the origin of Yi history and culture.

ⅡThe Historical Derivation of Guizhou Xuanwei Government Office and its Rebuilding Background

Dafang county is reputed as “the Holy Land of Ancient Yi People and the Homeland of Madam Shexiang”, which possesses profound historical and cultural deposits, especially the ancient Yi culture. It is also the location of Luodian Capital Mu’ege. “Worshiping dragons and tigers, and adoring eagles and cranes”are the core of Yi people’s traditional belief. The word “Dafang”is pronounced in Yi language as “Dafa”, which means “Rocks of eagles”; “Luodian”is “Luodi”in Yi, which means “the place of tigers”; Mu’e is “Mi’e”, which means “the food of sky”; Ge is “Gou”, which means “crane” and is also the picture and the political power of emperors, at the same time, the territory governed by the king. As recorded in the ancient book “CeNiGouZe”: “Zi nuo gou tu tu, mo nuo wo chou nv,bu nuo da bo pai, a mai se dai shi, jue zhu she de wu,”which means that crane is the tribal leader, cuckoos are the subordinates, eagles are the teachers, and birds are the people. Mu’ege, i.e., the local king under the foot of sky, gradually turned into the name of a city. In ancient Yi times, there were twelve famous kings, e.g., “Ce, Ni, Gou, Ze”, while Mu’ege(Gou) is one of them.

When the six ancestors of Yi got departed, Muqiqi, one of Mamu’s six sons, went to the east, whose famous tribal leader Wu’ana pioneered the frontiers into Guizhou. During the period of the kingdom of Shu-Han, when Zhu GeLiang went south, another tribal leader Sui’azhe helped ZhuGeLiang to conquer the south, who was named “Luodian King” by Shu-Han and awarded “the iron book with red writings”, asigning that he possessed the land and his people could live here from generation to generation. After that, he took Dafang as the capital. Through the effort of several kings and 80 years, the building of ancient city of “Mu’ege” was completed and the palace, too.

Later, as a local kingdom, Luodian Kingdom had been authorized to be native political power by the central dynasty from Shu-Han to Tang dynasty. The splendid Jiuchong palace was built in Tang period. In Song dynasty, its was named “Luoshi Kindom”, while in Yuan dynasty, it was assigned by the central dynasty as Shunyuan road Xuanwei Governing Administration, and in Ming dynasty, Guizhou Xuanwei Governing Administration, thus the time of kingdom was ended and the king became chieftain, and the palace, Xuanwei Envoy Residence, the Jiuchong Palace into Jiiuchong government office. New governing office had been set up in Guiyang, but the old palace was still in Mu’ege.

Guizhou Xuanwei Governing Residence is the place for Xuanwei Envoy Aicui and SheXiang and their descendants to handle political affairs. Although new governing office was set in Guiyang, the administration center was still in Dafang and thus the actual Governing Residence is in Dafang, that is, Mu’ege. In 1624, the fourth year of Ming Tianqi, the provincial governor, WangSanshan, whose official position is called Xunfu, led the troops to suppress SheChongming and AnBangyan’s uprising troops to Dafang. Because they could not resist the assault of the uprising troops, they set on fire to destroy all the houses, and the whole Ancient Mu’ege City was burnt up. At the beginning of Qing dynasty, the governing office of Shuixi moved to Nawei of Pina(Guanzhai town in Zhijin today), setting Shuixi Xuanwei Administration and another office was set in Wozhe(Leye town in Nayong county today) . Both were destroyed under the suppressing of Shuixi An family by WuSangui. Until 1698, the 37th year of Qing dynasty king Kangxi , the last Xuanwei envoy AnShengzu was stopped to inherit the position because of no heir in An’s family, which ended the 1474 years long local kingdom administration and left for later generations the historical myth of “100 years’ emperor, but 1000 years’ chief”.

The outstanding stateswoman SheXiang took Guizhou Xuanwei Residence as her office to deal with political affairs at the beginning of Ming Dynasty, who devised strategies here and led people in Shuixi to live on themselves, fore ahead, encourage farming and weaving, build nine post stations, hire Han learners, prosper Han schools, take the general situation into consideration, establish a harmonious society, and protect the frontiers, who contributed a lot to the national unity and the unity of the country and who also did the immortal achievement for the prosperity and stability of Shuixi, creating the glory from ancient times. In order to memorize Madam SheXiang, the great woman, develop and expand SheXiang culture and the spirit of patriotism, forge the brand of history and culture, and spare no effort to develop culture and tourism industries, declared by Dafang county, authorized by national committee of China, 30 episodes of TV series “Madam SheXiang” was determined to be made to represent the real history and to show the charm of national culture. In order to make it realized, Guizhou Committee of the Party, Guizhou provincial government, Bijie prefectural committee, and the administrative office decided to rebuild “Guizhou Xuanwei Residence”, ranking the project to be one of the provincial main construction projects in 2009.

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