Show Less
Restricted access

Two Thousand Zhuang Proverbs from China with Annotations and Chinese and English Translation


Zhou Yanxian

China is home to one of the largest and oldest societies in the world, and presently contains fifty-six ethnic groups. Among them is the Zhuang, the largest of the minority populations, which partakes in a very long history of preliterate oral traditions. This volume presents an introduction to Zhuang language and culture in Zhuang proverbs. The two thousand proverbs explored in this text bear the weight of Zhuang history and culture, and embody the wisdom collected from publications, manuscripts, and the speeches of the people who live in Zhuang villages. These proverbs are grouped into nine sections: Truths; Morality; Family; Everyday Life; Social Life; Labor; Nature; Customs; and Politics. Together, they form an essential distillation of the Zhuang history, tradition, philosophy, and most importantly, its legacy. This accessible introduction – which includes translations in Zhuang Pinyin letters, Mandarin, and American English for each proverb – provides an important corpus for the study of the Zhuang ethnic group by scholars, students, and others who are interested in Zhuang language, culture, folklore and oral traditions, and proverbs.

Show Summary Details
Restricted access



In the summer of 2013, I started a National Social Science Project of China titled “A Comparative Study of Zhuang and Thai Proverbs” (Project Number: 13XYY021). This project is meant to be a comprehensive comparative study of linguistic and cultural practices of Zhuang and Thai proverbs based on the knowledge and theories of linguistics, literary studies, aesthetic studies, historical studies, folklore, anthropology and other disciplines. During the work of collecting, sorting, and analyzing Zhuang proverbs, I discovered, surprisingly enough, a rich treasure of Zhuang proverbs and realized my work would be daunting. These proverbs carry the Zhuang people’s long history and deeply rooted culture in them and include many topics, different forms, and linguistic features. Thousands of years of traditional Zhuang society have made the proverbs a cultural marker and an ethnic signifier. The present volume, Two Thousand Zhuang Proverbs from China with Annoations and Chinese and English Translation represents a different approach to Zhuang proverbs and adds to my early research.

Zhuang (壮族 in Chinese characters with its Pinyin of Zhuàngzú and Bouxcuengh in Zhuang Pinyin letters) is the largest minority group with the largest population among the 55 ethnic groups in China. Most of the Zhuang people inhabit the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Yunnan Province. ← xv | xvi → In Guangdong, Hunan, Guizhou and Sichuan provinces of South China, there is also some distribution of Zhuang People. As early as the Paleolithic period, the first men of Zhuang, who were called successively, Xiwa, Nanyue, Luoyue,...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.