An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History and Literature

Dian xiaoji 滇小記

Sep 30, 2019 © Ulrich Theobald

Dian xiaoji 滇小記, also called Dian-Yun linian zhuan 滇雲歷年傳, is a short account on the province of Yunnan written by Ni Shui 倪蜕 (1666-1736), original name Peng 鵬, courtesy name Zhenjiu 振九, style Shuiweng 蜕翁, from Huating 華亭 in the prefecture of Songjiang 松江, Jiangsu.

The book is a resummé of what the author observed and heard during his long-years stay in Yunnan. The arrangement is rather accidentally, and not along themes. The text speaks about charcoal production, wells, customs and habits, to roads to Myanmar and Tibet, and countless other topics, including geography, tourist spots, local products, native tribes, and historical events.

The author quotes from other texts, particularly Zhang Zhichun's 張志淳 (1457-1538) Nanyuan manlu 南園漫錄 from the Ming period 明 (1368-1644), and Cao Shuqiao's 曹樹翹 (1775-1818) Diannan zazhi 滇南雜志. The accounts on the travel routes to Myanmar and Tibet are based on the author's own experience, and are therefore very detailed.

Although the Dian xiaoji is not a local gazetter in a standard form, it it neverthless an important source on the history of Yunnan. The book seems to have been finished around 1740. It is included in the series Yunnan congshu 雲南叢書 from 1914.

Wang Zhaoming 王兆明, Fu Langyun 傅朗云, eds. (1991). Zhonghua gu wenxian da cidian 中華古文獻大辭典, Vol. Dili 地理卷 (Changchun: Jilin wenshi chubanshe), 383.