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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.

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Series index


Alan Dundes, Founding Editor Wolfgang Mieder, General Editor

This series includes theoretical studies of any genre or aspect of folklore. The series welcomes individually authored and collaboratively authored books, monographs, collections of data, bibliographies, and Festschriften. The emphasis will be on analytic and methodological innovations in the consideration of myth, folktale, legend, superstition, proverb, riddle, folksong, festival, game or any other form of folklore as well as any of the interpretative approaches to folklore topics.

Inquiries or manuscripts in English should be submitted to

Professor Wolfgang Mieder Department of German and Russian 422 Waterman Building University of Vermont Burlington, VT 05405-0160

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