Miao Rebellions (Ming dynasty)

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Miao Rebellions (Ming Dynasty)
Date 14th century, 15th century
Location Sichuan, Guizhou, Yunnan, Huguang
Result Ming victory
Ming dynasty Miao, Yao and other aboriginal rebels
Commanders and leaders
Hongwu Emperor
Grand General of South-Pacifying Post of the Nation- Hala Bashi
Zhengtong Emperor
Li Chen
Thousands of Han chinese. Chinese Muslim, and Uyghur troops
1,000 Mongol cavalry archers
Thousands of Miao, Yao and other aboriginal rebels
Casualties and losses
Tens of thousands of rebels killed, thousands of castrations

The Miao Rebellions (Ming Dynasty) were a series of rebellions of the Miao and other aboriginal tribes of southern China. The Ming Dynasty crushed the rebels with overwhelming force. Later in the Qing dynasty, another series of Miao rebellions broke out.


In one of the first Miao revolts, in the 1370s, several thousand Uyghur warriors from Turpan were sent by the Ming Hongwu Emperor to crush Miao rebels in Taoyuan County of Changde, Hunan (at the time Hunan was part of Huguang province). The Uyghurs were all given titles and allowed to live in Changde, Hunan. The title of the Uyghur commander was "Grand General of South-Pacifying Post of the Nation"[1] simplified Chinese: 镇国定南大将军; traditional Chinese: 鎮國定南大將軍; pinyin: zhèn guó dìngnán dàjiàng jūn [2][3] The Uyghurs were led by Gen. Hala Bashi, who was awarded titles by the Ming Hongwu Emperor and the surname Jian (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Jiǎn). They live in Taoyuan County of Hunan province to this day.[4] Chinese Muslim troops were also used by the Ming Dynasty to crush the Miao and other aboriginal rebels in the area, and were also settled in Changde, Hunan, where their descendants still live.[1]

On May 4, 1449, the Miao revolted. The Ming military sent Gen. Wang Ji to destroy the rebels.[5] the Miao rebellions spread through Huguang and Guizhou.[6] Guizhou was ransacked in 1459 by and 1460 by government forces, who looted the town and sold many of the residents into slavery. The eunuch Yuan Rangyang was appointed Grand Defender of Huguang and Guizhou.[7]

Multiple Miao rebellions broke out in the 1460s. The Miao and Yao rebelled in 1464, and the revolt spread throughout Guangxi, Hunan, Guizhou, Jiangxi and Guangdong.[8] The Miao had settled throughout southern China. On the Hunan Guizhou border, more rebellions broke out in 1466. The Ming rallied 1,000 Mongol cavalry archers and 30,000 soldiers in total to crush the Miao.[9] Ming commander Gen. Li Chen, who was an hereditary general, fought against the aboriginal tribes for decades in the 15th century and used brutal tactics against them. He waged campaigns of extermination against when whenever they rebelled—in 1467 and 1475, among others—and killed thousands of them.[10]

Certain subgroups of Miao are known as Hmong. In the 16th century the Ming dynasty sent ethnic Chinese to settle in the tribal areas of the Hmong and other aboriginal tribes in the southwest. The Ming sent 2000 garrison troops to defeat the Hmong rebels; 40,000 rebels were slaughtered. By 1500 the Hmong were raiding areas around Hunan province and had fought almost every year in an effort to gain their independence. The Ming Dynasty constructed the Hmong wall, which was 10 feet high and 100 miles long with military posts. The Hmong in Guizhou used armor made of buffalo skin or mail made of copper and iron, and weapons such as shields, spears, knives, crossbows and poisoned arrows. Two Chinese generals who defected and joined the Hmong gave them gunpowder weapons, such as flintlock rifles, cannons and blunderbusses, and showed the rebels how to make them.[11]

An account of the origins of the Hmong in Sichuan says that the Ming Chinese in Guangdong defeated the ancestors of the Hmong, and forcibly relocated them to Sichuan.[12]

The Chinese naming and classification of the southern tribes was often vague. When the Ming began colonizing the south, the classification of the natives began to grow more accurate.[13]

The Ming Dynasty army almost completely exterminated the Bo minority people in southern China.[14][15][16][17]

Mass castrations of Miao boys[edit]

The Ming commander crushed a Miao rebellion in 1460, and castrated 1,565 Miao boys, which resulted in the deaths of 329 of them. They were then turned into eunuch slaves.[18][19][20] This event occurred during the rule of the Zhengtong Emperor (Yingcong or Ying Tsung). Since 329 of the boys died, even more were needed to be castrated.[21]

A large number of the Han Chinese soldiers who crushed the rebellion were then settled in the southwest, given land and married Miao women.[22][23]


  1. ^ a b Chih-yu Shih, Zhiyu Shi (2002). Negotiating ethnicity in China: citizenship as a response to the state. Psychology Press. p. 133. ISBN 0-415-28372-8. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  2. ^ Zhonghua Minguo guo ji guan xi yan jiu suo (2000). Issues & studies, Volume 36, Issues 1-3. Institute of International Relations, Republic of China. p. 184. Retrieved 26 Dec 2011. According to an account passed down among township residents, Uygur ancestors were called by the emperor to the region to quell Miao rebels during the Ming Dynasty and accepted titles from the emperor who bestowed upon them their own land. The title "Grand General of South-Pacifying Post of the Nation" S & fa also carries a given Han surname, Jian ( fij ), which is currently the largest Uygur group in Changde. According to an expert on Changde Uygurs,6 while Jian is a Original from the University of Michigan
  3. ^ 海峽交流基金會 (2000). 遠景季刊, Volume 1, Issues 1-4. 財團法人海峽交流基金會. p. 38. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Ethnic Uygurs in Hunan Live in Harmony with Han Chinese". People's Daily. 29 December 2000. 
  5. ^ Oriens extremus: Zeitschrift für Sprache, Kunst und Kultur de Länder des Fernen Ostens, Volumes 37-39. O. Harrassowitz. 1994. p. 193. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  6. ^ Oriens extremus: Zeitschrift für Sprache, Kunst und Kultur de Länder des Fernen Ostens, Volumes 37-39. O. Harrassowitz. 1994. p. 193. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  7. ^ Nicola Di Cosmo, Don J. Wyatt (2003). Political frontiers, ethnic boundaries, and human geographies in Chinese history. Psychology Press. p. 280. ISBN 0-7007-1464-2. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  8. ^ John Stewart Bowman (2000). Columbia chronologies of Asian history and culture. Columbia University Press. p. 43. ISBN 0-231-11004-9. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  9. ^ Frederick W. Mote (1988). Frederick W. Mote, ed. The Cambridge History of China: The Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644; edited by Frederick W. Mote and Denis Twitchett, Volume 7, Part 1. Cambridge University Press. p. 379. ISBN 0-521-24332-7. Retrieved 26 Dec 2011. Thirty thousand soldiers, including 1000 Mongol cavalry archers much feared for their prowess and ferocity, made their way to Kwangsi by late summer, joined there by a reported 160,000 local troops. 
  10. ^ Frederick W. Mote, Denis Twitchett, John King Fairbank (1988). The Cambridge History of China: The Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644, Part 1. Cambridge University Press. p. 380. ISBN 0-521-24332-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  11. ^ Sue Murphy Mote (2004). Hmong and American: Stories of Transition to a Strange Land. McFarland. p. 100. ISBN 0-7864-1832-X. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  12. ^ Tao Tao Liu, David Faure (1996). Unity and Diversity: Local Cultures and Identities in China. Hong Kong University Press. p. 87. ISBN 962-209-402-3. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  13. ^ Barbara Watson Andaya (2006). The Flaming Womb: Repositioning Women in Early Modern Southeast Asia. University of Hawaii Press. p. 18. ISBN 0-8248-2955-7. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  14. ^ "Bo Descendants Found in Xingwen" (in Chinese). Chinacourt.org. 2005-04-05. Retrieved 2008-12-13. 
  15. ^ 悬棺之谜
  16. ^ 珙县僰人悬棺
  17. ^ 僰人后裔有新说
  18. ^ Shih-shan Henry Tsai (1996). The Eunuchs in the Ming Dynasty. SUNY Press. p. 16. ISBN 0-7914-2687-4. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  19. ^ Journal of Asian history, Volume 25. O. Harrassowitz. 1991. p. 130. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  20. ^ "Eunuchs". GeneralAnswers.org. 2005. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  21. ^ Taisuke Mitamura (1970). Chinese Eunuchs: The Structure of Intimate Politics. C.E. Tuttle Co. p. 54. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  22. ^ Susan Brownell, Jeffrey N. Wasserstrom (2002). Chinese Femininities, Chinese Masculinities: A Reader. University of California Press. p. 392. ISBN 0-520-21103-0. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 
  23. ^ Louisa Schein (2000). Minority Rules: The Miao and the Feminine in China's Cultural Politics. Duke University Press. p. 61. ISBN 0-8223-2444-X. Retrieved 2010-06-28. 

See also[edit]