An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Hunan Miaofang tunzheng kao 湖南苗防屯政考

Mar 4, 2016 © Ulrich Theobald

Hunan Miaofang tunzheng kao 湖南苗防屯政考 "Research on the administration of the colonies in the Miao border region of Hunan" is a report on the administration of territory inhabited by native Miao tribes 苗 in Guizhou. The book was written by Dan Xiangliang 但湘良 (1824-1905), courtesy name Shaocun 少村, from Puqi 蒲圻, Hubei, who was circuit intendant of Yong-Wan-Jing 永沅靖.

Dan Xiangliang compiled this book because there were no similar guidelines to deal with the administration of the native regions that had only become regular part of the Chinese empire between the early 18th and the early 19th centuries. In a kind of policy called gaitu guiliu 改土歸流 the indirect rule through native chieftains was replaced by regular districts. Dan Xiangliang collected archival documents, letters and other documents and personally visited the region and the so-called tunfang 屯防 "defence colonies" (see tuntian 屯田). His book was only circulated as hand-copy in the beginnings, but was then supplemented by new documents, and submitted to the throne. The final result is 15-juan long and includes ten chapters. The books was finished in 1883 and exists in two versions, the so-called Puqi version 蒲圻本 in 16 volumes, and the "home-print version" (jiakeben 家刻本) in 7 volumes from 1883.

Dan Xianliang used a large amount of official documents for his book, and quotes extensively from them, but also gives more narrative information on the geography of the Miao region, the field allotment system, the military system, schools, an the event history of the wars against the Miao, and the names and deeds of officials earning their laurels during the campaigns.

The book can be seen as a sister-work of the book Miaojiang tunfang lu 苗疆屯防錄.

Gao Wende 高文德, ed. (1995). Zhongguo shaoshu minzu shi da cidian 中國少數民族史大辭典 (Changchun: Jilin jiaoyu chubanshe), 2276.
Wan Li 萬里, ed. (2006). Hu-Xiang wenhua da cidian 湖湘文化大辭典 (Changsha: Hunan renmin chubanshe), Vol. 1, 112.
Zhongguo fanglüe congshu 中國方略叢書 (Chengwen Publishing),