Words from the Fire: Poems by Jidi Majia (MĀNOA 30:1)

Bbahxa Ayuosse by Qubi Shuomo. Bbahxa Ayuosse by Qubi Shuomo.
This Nuosu ritual painting is of the magical python Bbahxa Ayuosse or Bbahxa Arrysse, one of the supernatural helpers of the Nuosu hero Zhyge Alu. Bbahxa Ayuosse by Qubi Shuomo. Object #1998–83/102—Scroll, Painting. Gift of the Blakemore Foundation, courtesy of Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, University of Washington.

The new issue of MĀNOA: A Pacific Journal of International Writing, volume 30 number 1, is a collection of poems by Jidi Majia, translated by Jami Proctor Xu.

Jidi Majia is a member of the Yi ethnic minority group, one of the fifty-five officially recognized minorities in China and the sixth largest, comprising about nine million people. The subgroup to which Jidi Majia belongs, Nuosu, is the largest. For centuries Nuosu people have held on to their language, culture, and social structure, staving off assimilation by the majority Han.

This collection of more than 125 of Jidi Majia’s poems opens with an editor’s note and concludes with a translation of Jidi Majia’s speech for the 2017 Xu Zhimo Poetry and Art Festival at Cambridge University. More than a dozen images featuring Nuosu scrolls and paintings accompany the poems. Continue reading “Words from the Fire: Poems by Jidi Majia (MĀNOA 30:1)”