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Forum LockedThe Yue peoples, the state of Yue, Wuyue, & Vietnam?

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    Posted: 08-Mar-2006 at 18:55

What does the word "Yue" really mean? Would unravelling the meaning of the word help to understand the possible link between the state of Yue during the Spring and Autumn Period, the state of Wuyue during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period, and the origin of the modern state of Vietnam? Or are the so-called "Yue" peoples just a general name given to all the ancient non-Han peoples living in the coastline of southern China and northern Vietnam (not unlike the term "Celt" used by the Greeks to describe what they perceived to be a broad cultural group)? 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yue

  • Yuè (越), a name associated with several concepts related to coastal South China, including:
  • Other interesting links:

    The Yue Peoples:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yue_%28peoples%29

    The State of Yue:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_of_Yue

    The State of Wuyue:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wuyue

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    The Charioteer View Drop Down
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Charioteer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2006 at 09:05

    The Yue people as a distinctive culture group appeared in the Chinese reference as early as the Shang dynasty. In the Shang oracle bone writings, the character "Yue" was an earlier form, which in its visualized form represents axe, later it added with a character represents "running" to the left, which together its visualized as "(man)running with axe". Some believe this is because that the ancient Yue people carried stone axes.

    And this is cross-referenced with another two examples. One is the Qiang people to the north-west of the HuaXia. As in its pictographic form, Qiang is visualized as a man wearing a head of goat. Whereas the people living east of the HuaXia, which the Chinese called them the "Yi", the "Yi" in its pictographic form is visualized as a man carrying a bow. Because the "Yi" lived to the east of the Chinese, they were called "DongYi", "Dong" means east in Chinese.

    Part of the "DongYi" fused with the early form of the Han-Chinese, the HuaXia culture group, but part of it migrated south and fused with the local Yue people. Thats why "Yi" and "Yue" was sometimes used as one term in ancient records.

    There were many "Yue" factions living in the middle to lower reaches of the Yangtze river and southwards all the way down to northern vietnam. So they were also called "BaiYue".(hundred factions of Yue)

    LuoYue is the faction that lived in the south-west(today's canton&GuangXi provinces), while YueOu is in the the south-east and south(included the area was the parts of Chu,Wu,Yue kingdoms in the "spring&autumn")

    The character accompany Yue, "Luo"&"Ou" are localized form of address for oneself,  that they both hold similar meaning as "we". A way of these Yue people to distinguish their unique ethnic identity to the others.

    Parts of the Yue also fused with the HuaXia people during the course of history. But many of the Yue people kept their identity well till nowadays, and many of the minorities who lives in the south-west provinces of today's China are descendants of the ancient Yue people, such as the Zhuang,Yi,BuYi,Dong,etc peoples.

    The Canton region was first invaded by the Qin army which it met strong local resistance by the "Yue" locals. The commander of the Qin army was assasinated in his sleep. The Qin constructed a man-made canal called "LingJu" in order to keep the invading Qin troops enough supplies. With the construction of "LingJu", did finally Qin "pacified" the south.

    During Sui-Tang period, many politically sentenced officals would be exiled to this region, and Yue lived besides Han-Chinese. Its during the Song(especially southern Song) dynasty, did the Han-Chinese migrated in large numbers into the southward regions.

    The ancient Yue kingdom during "spring&autumn" period was founded by GouJian, by SiMaQian's 《lineage of GouJian, the king of Yue kingdom - annuals of history》, state GouJian is the descendant of Yu(great Yu), descendant of Son of ShaoKang, ShaoKang is the fifth king of the Xia dynasty. It is said GouJian's ancestor was assigned to KuaiJi(in todays ZheJiang province) to rule. before GouJian past away, his last word for his heir stated clearly that his ancestor is the Great Yu(father to Qi, Qi is the first king of Xia dynasty), and hes content that what he has achieved would make the ancestor Yu pleased, but urged his heir to take care of the Yue kingdom. GouJian built the "temple of the Great Yu" as a way to offering respect to the ancestor. SiMaQian visited the "temple of the Great Yu" personally.

    And the WuYue kingdom during "10 kingdoms" period was founded by QianLiu, the Qian clan is descended from ZhuanXu,grandson of HuangDi(the Yellow emperor).

    QianLiu never took the title "emperor", as he think hes still the subject of the central court of China. It is said a peasant found a jade royal seal(which only the legitimate emperor of China can carry) and presented it to QianLiu, but QianLiu stated "this is for the son of heaven, not for people like us" and send the seal to the central court. Before he died, QianLiu lectured his successor "although the political instability caused central court changed one after another, my offsprings should not forget our relation with ZhongGuo"(as QianLiu's kingship status was granted by the succeeding central governments), "if there would emerge the real lord, you should immediately submit yourselves to him". His descendant QianHongShu followed QianLiu's last words, submited the WuYue kingdom to the founding emperor of Song dynasty, ZhaoKuangYin, When Zhao unified much of central plain.



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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flyingzone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2006 at 13:40
    Originally posted by The Charioteer The Charioteer wrote:

    Part of the "DongYi" fused with the early form of the Han-Chinese, the HuaXia culture group, but part of it migrated south and fused with the local Yue people. Thats why "Yi" and "Yue" was sometimes used as one term in ancient records.

    I didn't know the "Yi" and the "Yue" people were "related". Thanks for the information!!!! I always thought the name "Yi" were used only to refer to the "Eastern Barbarians". I didn't know "Southern Barbarians" were related to the "Eastern Barbarians".

    Originally posted by The Charioteer The Charioteer wrote:

    There were many "Yue" factions living in the middle to lower reaches of the Yangtze river and southwards all the way down to northern vietnam. So they were also called "BaiYue".(hundred factions of Yue)

    So "BaiYue" was really just a general term that the HuaXia people used to describe all the ethnically-diverse groups living south of their border. Those so-called Yue "factions" might not be ethnically related to one another or might not even know one another's existence?  

    Originally posted by The Charioteer The Charioteer wrote:

     

    LuoYue is the faction that lived in the south-west(today's canton&GuangXi provinces) ...

    Parts of the Yue also fused with the HuaXia people during the course of history. But many of the Yue people kept their identity well till nowadays, and many of the minorities who lives in the south-west provinces of today's China are descendants of the ancient Yue people, such as the Zhuang,Yi,BuYi,Dong,etc peoples.

    How about the Miao and Yiao peoples? Are they related to the ancient Yue people as well?

    Originally posted by The Charioteer The Charioteer wrote:

     

    while YueOu is in the the south-east and south (included the area was the parts of Chu,Wu,Yue kingdoms in the "spring&autumn")

    A question: How closely related were the Southeastern and Southern Yue peoples? It seems to me that ethnically speaking, the "Southern Yue" (today's Quangdong province and Northern Vietnam) people may be more related to today's Vietnamese whereas the "Southeastern Yue" people are ancestors of people living in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces. Am I wrong about that?  

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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flyingzone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2006 at 14:29
    Originally posted by The Charioteer The Charioteer wrote:

    Whereas the people living east of the HuaXia, which the Chinese called them the "Yi", the "Yi" in its pictographic form is visualized as a man carrying a bow. Because the "Yi" lived to the east of the Chinese, they were called "DongYi", "Dong" means east in Chinese.

    Part of the "DongYi" fused with the early form of the Han-Chinese, the HuaXia culture group, but part of it migrated south and fused with the local Yue people. Thats why "Yi" and "Yue" was sometimes used as one term in ancient records.

    Charioteer, I am really confused now. I just came across an article on ancient Korean history. In the article, the author argues that the "DongYi" people were the same people who founded the ancient Korean kingdom of Ko Choson. Now, how can the DongYi people be the ancestors of both the Koreans AND the Yue people at the same time? Did I mis-read something?

    http://www.asianinfo.org/asianinfo/korea/history.htm

    The people of Ko Choson or the oldest kingdom of Korea are recorded as Tong-i, "eastern bowmen" or "eastern barbarians."  The propagated in Manchuria, the eastern littoral of China, areas north of the Yangtze River, and the Korean Peninsula.  The eastern bowmen had a myth in which the legendary founder Tan-gun was born of a father of heavenly descent and a woman from a bear-totem tribe.  He is said to have started to rule in 2333 B.C., and his descendants reigned in Choson, the "Land of Morning Calm," for more than a millennium.

    When the Zhou people pushed the Yin, the eastern bowmen moved toward Manchuria and the Korean Peninsula for better climactic conditions.   They seem to have maintained unity, as China's great sages, Confucious and Mencius, praised their consangquineous order and the decorum of their society.

    The eastern bowmen on the western coast of the Yellow Sea clashed with the Zhou people during China's period of warring states (475 B.C. - 221 B.C.).  This led them to move toward southern Manchuria and the Korean Peninsula.

    There were other tribes of eastern bowmen, the Yemaek on the Manchurian area and the Han on the Korean Peninsula, all of whom belonged to the Tungusic family and linguistically affiliated with the Altaic.  When Yin collapsed, Kija, a subject of the Yin state, entered Tan-gun's domain and introduced the culture of Yin around the 11th century B.C.

    Then came invasion of Yen in the northeastern sector of China, and Ko Choson lost the territories west of the Liao River in the third century B.C.  By this time, iron culture was developing and the warring states pushed the refugees eastward.'

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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gubook Janggoon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Mar-2006 at 19:19
    There's a bit of a conflict here in terms of the Dongyi people.

    What's for sure is that later use of the term Dongyi referred to people east of China, ie the Koreans, Japanese, Manchus, etc.


    As for the Dongyi of the Shang days I'm not quite sure.  We know that they were a people outside of the Huaxia culture and that they were eventually absorbed by the Chinese dynasties.

    The Korean argument is that the Dongyi were displaced by the Chinese and moved north/east into what is now modern day Manchuria (Dongbei), Korea, and perhaps Japan.  Some Korean historians will even draw maps of early Korea encompassing northwestern Korea, parts of southern Manchuria, and the Shandong penninsula.  IMHO though, the evidence isn't very convincing.
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Charioteer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2006 at 11:01

    Originally posted by flyingzone flyingzone wrote:

    I always thought the name "Yi" were used only to refer to the "Eastern Barbarians". I didn't know "Southern Barbarians" were related to the "Eastern Barbarians".

    the "SanMiao" group who allied with JiuLi/JiuYi group against the Huang-Yan/HuaXia alliance at the battle of ZhuoLu, later rose again and again against the HuaXia during Yao,Shun,Great Yu's reign, its only during Great Yu's time, it is said Yu battled the "rebellious" SanMiao for successive 70 days. the SanMiao then was "dissapeared" from afterward historical records. But some believe the term "Man"(which means "Southern barbarian") is inflexion of the word "Miao". 

    Quote

    So "BaiYue" was really just a general term that the HuaXia people used to describe all the ethnically-diverse groups living south of their border. Those so-called Yue "factions" might not be ethnically related to one another or might not even know one another's existence? 

    The "BaiYue" certainly displayed more common cultural characteristic as compared to other non-HuaXia ethnic groups like the "Yi"&"Man" people. With some distinctive local variations though. But how well the different factions of "BaiYue" maintained their comunication is not known.

    Quote How about the Miao and Yiao peoples? Are they related to the ancient Yue people as well?

    Yiao is related to the Miao. Miao people believe they are the descendants of ChiYou, leader of the JiuLi/JiuYi group. In Miao folk songs which has been past down to present from the ancient time "record" clearly that the ancestor of  Miao people ChiYou was defeated by HuangDi, hence, the Miao people migrated southwards". The unique battik clothing of Miao people actually have depictions of this story on them. Therefore the Miao&Yiao are related to ancient "Yi" than the "Yue".

    Quote A question: How closely related were the Southeastern and Southern Yue peoples? It seems to me that ethnically speaking, the "Southern Yue" (today's Quangdong province and Northern Vietnam) people may be more related to today's Vietnamese whereas the "Southeastern Yue" people are ancestors of people living in Fujian and Zhejiang provinces. Am I wrong about that?  

    the southeastern Yue people had 2 kingdoms called "DongOu" & "MinYue", they were founded by 2 offsprings of Yue kingdom from "spring&autumn". Later Han Wudi moved these people to the north of their original settlements, also with gradual displacement of Han-Chinese, as a result these faction more or less fused with the HuaXia.

    part of southern Yue eventually became todays Zhuang people&others, after the collapse of the Qin dynasty, one of former Qin general ZhaoTuo founded the "southern-Yue" kingdom in GuangXi, but the culture is distinctively "Yue". And the first independent Vietnamese dynasty was founded by WuQuan(descendant of Wu kingdom from "spring&autumn") during "five dynasties& ten kingdoms" period, which was the first step for Vietnam to separate from Chinese rule.



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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Charioteer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Mar-2006 at 11:39

    Originally posted by flyingzone flyingzone wrote:

    Charioteer, I am really confused now. I just came across an article on ancient Korean history. In the article, the author argues that the "DongYi" people were the same people who founded the ancient Korean kingdom of Ko Choson. Now, how can the DongYi people be the ancestors of both the Koreans AND the Yue people at the same time? Did I mis-read something?

    this topic is about Yue people, so my emphasize was that part of Yi might have fused with the Yue, as they migrate south, and were refered as "YiYue" in some ancient records as evidence.

    If focus is on the "DongYi", then it is believed part of the "Yi" went to Manchuria and Korea. There is no conflict, i didnt mention this faction because they probably dont have relation with the Yue.

     

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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote johannes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20-Mar-2006 at 13:39

    The Cantonese also call themselves the Yue(t) as an ethnic term, although the Chinese character is changed from the one associated with Vietnam.

     

    The Vietnamese also believe that their ancestors were the Bac Viet (Bai Yue)

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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tonglin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Apr-2006 at 08:00

    As I know, Yue's sgnific(部首)in Bronze Characters(金文)  is Yi(邑), which always means a city or a country. So I think the character Yue's meaning  maybe no more than the old country which existed in East Zhou. And the character's other meaning is forming afterward.

    While I don't know the context of Yue in the Bronze Characters, so, that's just my boldness surmise.



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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tonglin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Apr-2006 at 08:45
    An old dictionary FangYan(方言) said, "Chu said as Yue, or Yuan"(楚谓之越,或谓之远). So it can be said that the character Yue is come from Yuan, which means far,  because their pronounce are close.
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flyingzone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Apr-2006 at 18:58

    I think we are no closer to understanding how the "Yueh" people of Southern China are related to the "Viet" people of North Vietnam:

    Do you agree with the following analysis by Fitzgerald?

    http://sanvu.tripod.com/vnwaterculture.htm

    "A seafaring people," C. P. Fitzgerald had written in The Southern Expansion of the Chinese People, "the Yủeh fought against the incorporation in new empires." To this day, "in Kwangtung, the homeland of the 'Cantonese' retains their distinctive character and restless attitude toward northern rule," he wrote; for "the main constituent of the population of Kwangtung and also in Fukien is a stock originally-non-Chinese and largely Yủeh."

    Who were these people? "The Yủeh people, from whom the old kingdom had taken its name, were in ancient times wide-spread along the coast of eastern Asia.... Vietnam is the modern center of the Yủeh, and the word Viet is simply the local pronunciation of the Chinese form Yủeh," Fitzgerald said. "The more northerly Yủeh were annexed by the Han empire and lost their national identity, although it is probable that a very large proportion of the present inhabitants of Fukien and Kwangtung are descendants of this people.

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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tonglin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Apr-2006 at 00:33
    I can't open that page. But I can't agree with your citation, especially underlined sentence. The main constituent of the population of GuangDong, FuJian, and even ZheJiang was non-Chinese in Zhou and Han empire. But after many migrations in the 2000 years ago, the Yủeh is very little, and now, the main constituent of the population of southeast China is Chinese. Though their dialect is different from North China, but it's close to mediaeval pronounce of Chinese.
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