Miaos Rock planting Custom

Home Culture 2019-06-05

Miaos Rock planting Custom

Traditionally, the Miao people have a kind of public deliberation and legislative activities called "burying rock" (also known as "planting rock". When burying rock, they bury a rectangular stone in the mud and partly expose the ground), such as "stealing rock" and "financial rites rock". In fact, they are memorandums for dealing with burglary crimes and monuments for agreeing on the number of marriage rituals. This kind of system is similar to the system of "hanging punishment like Xiangwei" in the interior of the Central Plains when there are no words. Because the Miao people had no written language in the past, they could only stand stone without written language. But in fact, it has the same function as the stone tablet engraved with legal content. Local people know the purpose and reality of the monument, know the content of the monument well, and use it to regulate their behavior. When such problems occur, the judges can act as the basis of law and "precedent" to deal with current cases. It can be seen that these wordless stone tablets contain abundant legal and cultural information, so Miao's "buried rock" legislative activities and judicial habits based on this are very important in Miao's legal and cultural research.

On May 23, 2011, the Miao rock-planting custom was approved by the State Council and listed in the third batch of national intangible cultural heritage list.


Declaration area or unit: Rongjiang County, Guizhou Province

Before the founding of New China, Miao nationality belonged to a typical type of oral legal culture. As the Miao people have never invented written language in their history, the Miao people's oral law only exists in their heads and mouths, which is unstable and easy to be lost. At present, most of the buried rock data we have seen are typical of Miao nationality in Guizhou-Guizhou border area, especially the buried rock of Rongshui in Guangxi is the most abundant. (1) Because Rongshui is close to Congjiang County and Rongjiang County in Guizhou Province, there are frequent migrations in the region, links between clans and clans, and cultural commonalities. As far as burying rock is concerned, it is interrelated. For example, the "Songnu buried rock" in molten water is separated from the whole Gaowang-ou buried rock in Guzhou (now Rongjiang County, Guizhou Province). In addition, some places near the boundary of Guizhou Province were originally buried with Miao people in Guizhou, but they were gradually separated. For example, the "whole buried rock" in Gandong area originally belonged to the jurisdiction of "Jiudong buried rock" in Congjiang County, Guizhou Province. Later, because of the increase of population, the vast area and poor management, it was only from "Jiudong buried rock" to "whole buried rock". (2) In southeastern Guizhou, although the data of the Miao people, especially the Rongjiang and Congjiang rivers, are relatively rich, no systematic and comprehensive data like that of the Rongshui in Guangxi have been found.

brief introduction


Burying rock has three meanings: first, burying rock is a legislative form in ancient Miao society. The modification, supplement and abolition of the ancient rules for burying rock are all through the simple and effective form of burying rock. Secondly, burying rock is the main form of all activities in Miao society. The ancient rules of burying rock are the national code and the criterion of Miao people's thought and action. Thirdly, burying rock can solve the social problems or convey the spirit of the conference by gathering people to discuss. Now the Miao people in Rongshui County, Gongdong, Hongshui and other townships also call "meeting" as "burying rock". (5) Buried rock is the ancient custom and law of Miao nationality, which is an important content and the most distinctive part of the traditional legal culture of Miao nationality. "Burying Rocks" is a wordless law, but it conveys abundant legal content. It is not only a true portrait of the social and cultural conditions of the Miao people before modern times, but also an effective means to govern the social order of the Miao people. Buried rock is a distinctive legal form formed by Miao nationality in the absence of words, which has the same legal function as inscribed stone tablets and legal texts written on paper. The contents of Miao's ancient rules for burying rocks are gradually formed and perfected. At first, it was only a simple contract of alliance between the clans and the minority clans within the clans or within the same region. With the changes of the times and the sharp ethnic oppression and class contradictions, the ancient rules of burying rocks are becoming more and more complete and become a means to maintain the pure morality of Miao society, maintain local public order and resist foreign aggression. Burying rocks is also a common "resolution" and "law" form for the Miao people to uphold social morality, maintain local public order, maintain production and living order and reform social system. It is also an effective way to solve the social problems of the Miao people. It is also one of the means used by the Miao leaders to solve and deal with the internal affairs of their own nation, or to unite well with the neighboring brothers and nationalities. Friendly exchanges and effective measures to unite against foreign aggression.


In the Miao area, when social problems arise in a certain area and people urgently need to solve them, the buried Yantou people or their representatives, after consultation and deliberation, determine the time and place, issue notices to villages in the area by means of communication such as capital letters, convening the mass congresses or congresses of the areas under their jurisdiction, and adopt the methods of communication commonly used by the ancient Miao people to convey capital letters. Several resolutions were adopted in the form of buried rock. The venue is not in the village house, but in a wider area. Except in some cases, a rock is usually erected at the meeting site as a sign. If a buried rock conference has been held in situ, and the sign of buried rock has been established, most of them will not establish new rock. The "resolutions" formed by the buried rock conference were announced orally to the participants, and then sent back to villages by the participants to communicate to the masses. Sometimes, because of the importance of content, the leaders return to their villages and use the form of burying rocks to convey to the masses of their villages. Once the "resolution" of burying rock has been passed, it will produce legal effect. The masses within their jurisdiction must abide by the rock rules. As the buried rock lyrics say, "No wife violation, no son offense, each family discipline, each individual feel." The contents of rock-burying meetings are generally not recorded in Chinese characters. The reason is that there are many rock-burying contents directly related to riots, uprisings and related regulations which are not open to the public. Only after the 19th century did individual buried rocks inscribe the contents of the resolution in Chinese and stand at the meeting site.

Miao people have strict procedures for burying rocks. There is only one day for the marble activities, and the preparations for the rock burial conference are all before the rock burial activities. A great deal of preparatory work is carried out by the Yantou people and the representatives concerned, who come together for deliberation and consultation. This kind of gestation time, at least a few days, many months, even several years. During the brewing process, three issues are generally considered: first, to analyze the seriousness of the social problems and the urgency of solving them; second, to negotiate solutions and measures; and third, to select the chairman of the buried rock conference and the person announcing the regulations, i.e., the Liyan person.

Basic procedures for burying rock

First of all, several people put a stone as a symbol of burial in the place where the "Liyan Man" spoke. In front of the rock, grass or wood leaves are laid on the ground, covered with bowls. The number of bowls depends on the number of village leaders in this burial activity. Then the "Li Yan Ren" recited the words and offered sacrifices. The contents of the recitation include: narrating the origin of buried rock, its role in Miao society in various historical periods, offering sacrifices to the founder of buried rock and the dead who buried rock. After the sacrifice, kill pigs or cattle, and use this period of time for free exchange of views among the masses, the leader once again discussed the laws to be enacted for the burial of rocks. Then, after the pig or beef is cooked, cut the meat and viscera into small pieces, turn up the bowls placed before the rocks, put in a little viscera and pour wine. The regulations formed by this burial were publicly announced by the "buried rock head man". Then the host takes the wine according to the rank of the village leaders. Later, after the wine bowl was received, the "buried rock head man" offered sacrifices again. Its contents include: explaining the formation of buried rock laws and regulations, the village leaders have claimed the "rock rules" on behalf of the masses of the villages, reiterating that the rock rules should be observed by everyone and those who violate them must be investigated, and wishing the problem to be solved satisfactorily. Finally, after the meeting, the invited founder of the buried rock and the deceased of all previous buried rock heads were sent back. After the sacrifice, the village leaders received the meat kebabs which had been distributed, i.e. the meeting was over. That night (the night after the long journey), thousands of families in the buried rock jurisdiction declared the contents of the buried rock laws and regulations to the whole family in the spirit of the buried rock conference, educating them to abide by the rules and regulations. Some families went out and made meat into bacon. When they came back, they took meat for education. Once people have eaten the meat from the buried rock, it shows that they have recognized these laws and regulations. Therefore, everyone must consciously abide by them and "teach their children and grandchildren to pass on for thousands of generations".

Buried rock head

According to the data of Miao buried rock in Rongshui County, the buried rock head man is the natural leader of Miao and the executor of the ancient Miao buried rock rules. They can not be self-proclaimed, inherited, elected or appointed. They are natural leaders who gradually show their talents in long-term social practice and are recognized as "good people". The first person, who is generally over 40 years old, has both production experience and reason, knows well the ancient rules of burying rocks, handles affairs fairly, enforces laws strictly, does not favor selfish feelings, is enthusiastic about public affairs, has certain prestige among the masses, and can stand up when necessary, even sacrifice his own life. The main responsibilities of the buried rock head are to mobilize and lead the masses of the area under their jurisdiction to participate in burial activities; to represent one party to participate in the discussion of the buried rock head; to publicize and implement the laws and regulations adopted by the buried rock meeting; and to supervise the implementation of the buried rock laws and regulations in the region and the handling of problems. In dealing with problems, smaller cases should be settled by local leaders themselves, and major cases should be dealt with through concentrated discussions among the leaders of all sides burying rocks.

The buried rock head is equal to the masses in the process of fulfilling buried rock laws and regulations. Several cases of "deliberate deliberation", "deliberate deliberation", acting as accomplices of the rulers and so on, violated the ancient rules of burying rocks, and were also punished. They have no salary, no "donation" support, and their work is basically compulsory.