Bai Nationality – Mrs. Beneficence and Mrs. A'nan


In early Tang Dynasty there were six tribes in Yunnan called "Liu Zhao", in which the Mengshe tribe on the south end was called Nanzhao. As Nanzhao grew stronger, one day its chieftain Piluoge invited the leaders of other five tribes for a gathering. Mrs. Beneficence, the wife of chieftain of Dengdan tribe, thought that the host had bad intentions and asked her husband to quit the gathering. However, her husband just wouldn't listen. She had to put a hoop on her husband's arm for protection before departure.

Later, Piluoge did burn the Songming Tower where the chieftains gathered, leaving no one alive. Crying her eyes out, Mrs. Beneficence found her husband's body by searching the hoop out of the ashes, and took him home. Hearing about the bright and virtuous mistress, Piluoge proposed to marry her but was refused. After burying her husband, the lady secretly committed suicide, leaving us only this heart-broken story.

Ever since then, the Bai nationality in Yunnan began to celebrate the Torch Festival so as to remember the history of "Burning the Songming Tower" and the brave and bright Mrs. Beneficence.

There is another story about Mrs. A'nan told among the Bai people.

Guo Shizhong, an assistant general of Han Dynasty killed Chieftain Man'ana in Dali, Yunnan and proposed to the chieftain's beautiful wife Mrs. A'nan. The lady pretended to agree and raised three requirements to commemorate her husband. However, she burnt the mourning hall during the memorial ceremony and jumped into the blaze herself. Her loyalty and bravery won praises and admirations from all. Therefore, every year on the day when the lady burnt herself, the Bai people will light up torches and hold parade to remember her.

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