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|Capital||Ye (冶, modern Wuyishan)
later Dongye (東冶, modern Fuzhou)
|•||202 – ? BCE||Wuzhu (無諸)|
|•||? – 135 BCE||Ying (郢)|
|•||135 – 111 BCE||Yushan (餘善)|
|•||Defeated by the Han dynasty||111 BC|
Minyue (Chinese: 閩越) was an ancient kingdom in what is now Fujian Province in southern China. It was a contemporary of the Han dynasty, and was later absorbed by the Han as the dynasty expanded southward. Its inhabitants were from diverse ethnic groups including the Baiyue. The state survived roughly from 334 BC to 110 BC.
According to the Shiji, the founders were members of the Yue royal family who fled after that state was defeated by Chu and Qi in 334 BC. An ancient stone city located in the inner mountains of Fujian is said to have been the Minyue capital. The nearby tombs show the same funerary tradition as Yue state tombs in Zhejiang Province. Hence, it is concluded that the city was a Minyue center.
Wars with the Han Dynasty and Nanyue
Minyue was partially conquered by the Han Dynasty by the end of the 2nd century BCE during the Han campaigns against the Minyue. However its position (being closed off by mountains) made it almost impossible for the Han Dynasty to establish a strong grip over this area. Minyue was annexed by Nanyue under Zhao Tuo and submitted to Nanyue rule from 183 BC to 135 BC, and was finally conquered by the Han dynasty in 110 BC.
The ancient Min Yue of Fujian had customs similar to those of some of the Taiwanese aborigines, such as snake totemism, short hair-style, tattooing, teeth pulling, pile-dwellings, cliff burials, and uxorilocal post-marital residences. It is possible that the ancient Taiwan aborigines were related to the Min Yue culture, derived in ancient times from the southeast coast of Mainland China, as suggested by linguists Li Jen-Kuei and Robert Blust. It is suggested that in the southeast coastal regions of China, there were many sea nomads during the Neolithic era and they may have spoken ancestral Austronesian languages, and were skilled seafarers. In fact, there is evidence that an Austronesian language was still spoken in Fujian as late as A.D. 620.
- Chen, Jonas Chung-yu (24 January 2008). "[ARCHAEOLOGY IN CHINA AND TAIWAN] Sea nomads in prehistory on the southeast coast of China". Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association. 22 (0). doi:10.7152/bippa.v22i0.11805.
- Goodenough, Ward H. (1996). Prehistoric Settlement of the Pacific. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society. p. 43. ISBN 087169865X. OL 1021882M.
- Wylie, A. (1880). "History of the South-Western Barbarians and Chaou-Seen. Translated from the "Tseen Han Shoo," Book 95". The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. 9: 78. doi:10.2307/2841871. JSTOR 2841871. OCLC 5545526568.