Tales from Within the Clouds: Nakhi Stories of China
- About the Book
South of the clouds, in the land of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, dwell the descendants of a once pastoral people, the Nakhi. In ancient times, family names were passed from mother to child, there were no marriages, and women alone raised children. (In the Nakhi language, there is no word for “father.”) Today there are still Nakhi who follow these traditions, and Nakhi folktales reflect these beliefs. In the legends presented here we are introduced to a fantastic cast of characters: plants, insects, animals-all of them female! We discover why the Sun, hot-tempered and impetuous, is unpleasant to look at, while the graceful Moon attracts us with her silvery light; why the goat complains and her sister, the sheep, only murmurs “ba-ba”; why the azalea, for all her beauty, lives the shortest and saddest of lives. The ten stories, each illustrated with delightful paintings by celebrated artist Li Ji, welcome us into the unique and little-known world of the Nakhi.