Miautse the hill-tribes of China, are generally supposed to be the aborigines of that country. From the dawn of Chinese history, we find the people of the plains contending against those of the high lands, and to the present day the hardy mountaineers have maintained their independence. The Miautse consist of forty-one tribes, occupying large portions of Kwang-se, Kweichow, Yun-nan, Sze-chuen, and adjacent provinces. Some of them own Chinese sway; other tribes are absolutely independent. They are smaller in size and stature, and have shorter necks, and their features are somewhat more angular, than the Chinese. Their dialects are various, and wholly different from the Chinese; their affinity is most likely with the Laos and other tribes between Burmah, Siam, and China. Dr. Macgowan, a well- known ethnologist, describes them as skillful in manufacturing. He holds to an identity of the Miautse of Western China and the hill-tribes of Burmah. SEE KARENS. The degree of civilization they have attained to is much below .that of the Chinese. Both sexes wear their hair braided in a tuft on the top of the head, but never shaven and twisted as the Chinese; they dress in loose garments of cotton and linen; ear-rings are in universal use among them. They live in huts constructed upon the branches of trees, and in mud hovels. Their agriculture is rude, and their garments are usually obtained by barter from other people. Their religious observances are of the same peculiar nature as those of the other Asiatic tribes uninfluenced by Christian civilization. Their marriage and funeral usages are particularly striking. In one tribe it is the custom for the father of the new-born child, as soon as the mother has become strong enough to leave her couch, to get into bed himself, and there receive the congratulations of his acquaintances as he exhibits his offspring. See Chinese Repository, 1:29; 14:105 sq.; Williams, The Middle Kingdom, I, 37, 147 sq.

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