Luowu Branch of Yi Nationality – Lady Magpie


A pretty girl of Luowu branch of Yi fell in love with a young man named A'long. However, men from twelve tribes nearby came all the way to propose a marriage, among which there was a lord who threatened tyrannically that the whole village would suffer from disaster because of her if his proposal was refused. The girl had no choice but to promise a marriage interview on the 24th of the sixth lunar month. On the appointed day, the girl in white dress, black short jacket and colored apron made a fire on stack. With the chiefs of the twelve tribes present, she looked into her love's eyes and jumped into the fire. A'long and several young men tried to save her but failed, catching only a piece of her dress. The girl was dead for her love. In order to remember her, the twelve young men had a contest to push an ox over each other and those fell off shall be out. They also slaughtered cattle and drank while singing and dancing. Later, the Yi people made the day the "Torch Festival". The piece of dress left then became the Yi women's waistband, while the black smoke coming from the burnt lady became the pride of the morning in that village. It's said that in the morning when magpies are tweeting, the lady's figure will appear vaguely on the other side of the Yi Mountain. The lady is thus called "Lady Magpie" by people.

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