Poya Songbook Script [NEW]

The Poya Songbook, from the little we can gather, is a very local Zhuang script, for a very specific and extremely compressed purpose. It was found in Poya Village of Funing County, Yunnan Province, in the form of a document in which there are 81 single pic­tographs written on a piece of cloth inspiring people to recall the corresponding 81 Zhuang songs. The pictographs  mimic the appearance of moon, person, grain, duck, fish, and bird. (See also the Babao Songbook Script.)

In the Journal of Chinese Writing Systems 2023, Vol 7(2) 79–85, Professor Bojun Sun writes: “We see that the Poya Songbook, representing a complete song with many sentences by only one single pictograph, is also identified as the bud of script by Zhou Youguang in his inscription on a monograph (Liu, 2009), meaning that the picto­graph is a kind of script germination. As an extreme example, the Poya pictograph represents a full song given below.”

Rogfek dihlawz raez, gaeqgae dihlawz rwenh, gaeqdwenh dihlawz haen, mbauqzaem dihlawz og, ogrok buxlawz fwen, hawj saemmwen maiq luenh. saem gu luenh baenz yuz, saem gu fuz baenz zauq, fuz baenz zauq maex ‘em, saem gu vien rongzdoq, saem gu goj rongzdinz, ndihndiz mbin nwengz bix.

“Where the partridge trills, where the kingfisher romps, where the pheasant crows, where the guy comes, there who is singing outside? The song made the girl’s heart pound. The mind is excited like the boiling oil, like the branches and leaves following the wave, like the floating grass.”

Needless to say, we are fascinated, and wish we knew more.  If you have any information or contacts, please don’t hesitate, etcetera.


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