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Mongphu

Audio recordings: Andrew Hsiu. (2017). Mongphu audio word list. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1123361
Word list in Mondzish lexical database (2017)

Mongphu or Mongpho (autonym: mɔŋ⁵⁵pʰɤ²¹) is spoken by both adults and children in the villages of Lisa 里洒 (28 households; in Guangnan County, Yunnan, China), Zhilun 值伦, Upper Zhemei 上者梅, Lower Zhemei 下者梅, and Muyang 木杨, in Funing County, by perhaps several hundred speakers. As far as I know, Mongpho was not previously identified and documented, and constitutes a new, yet unknown language. It appears to be most closely related to Mango and Maza.

My informant was Wei Yan 韦艳, a 26-year-old man in Lisa 里洒.

On May 9, 2015 in Lisa 里洒, I found Dong Son-style bronze drums, which are hundreds or perhaps over 1,000 years old, which belong to the speakers of a new language called Mongpho [mɔŋ55 pho21]. They are stored in the attic of a local house. The larger drum with 4 frogs is the "female" drum, while the other one is the "male" drum. These drums [zi55] were used along with the mouth-organ [ȵaŋ55] to guide the souls of the deceased up into heaven, much like how the Hmong use the qeej. However, now they have lost the knowledge of how to play these drums.

The Mongpho people said that they do not know how old the drums are, but one man said that they might date back to the Ming Dynasty.

Other related languages are reportedly spoken in Musi 木思, Muhan 木寒, Mugang 木杠, Gedang 格当, and Damujiang 大木匠, which my informants listed as villages that speak similar languages that are not the same as Mongpho of Lisa.


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