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Booi Aha

Booi Aha (Manchu: booi niyalma for male, booi hehe for female; Chinese transliteration: Ō…È¡ฃɘ¿Å“ˆ) is a Manchu word literally meaning "household person", referring to a hereditarily servile people in the 17th century China. It is often directly translated as the "bondservant", although sometimes also rendered as "Nucai" or "slave".


[edit] Usage

In his book China Marches West, Peter C. Perdue stated:"In 1624 (after Nurhachi's invasion of Liaodong) "In 1624 Chinese households who had 5 to 7 Manchu sin of grain (800 to 1,000 kg) were given land and houses, while those with less were made into slaves." The Manchu was establishing close personal and paternalist relationship between masters and their slaves, as Nurhachi said: " The Master (Chinese:äธ»Åญ) should love the slaves and eat the same food as him". Perdue further pointed out that booi aha "did not correspond exactly to the Chinese category of "bondservant-slave" (Chinese:Åฅดѕ); instead, it was a relationship of personal dependency on a master which in theory guaranteed close personal relationships and equal treatment, even though many western scholars would directly translate "booi" as "bondservant".[1]

In the book A History of Chinese Civilization, Jacques Gernet pointed out that Chinese agricultural slaves were employed as early as the fifteenth century, and by the late sixteenth century it was observed that all the Manchu military commanders had both field and house servants. Between 1645 and 1647, Qing rulers enclosed (Chinese:ŜˆÅœฐ) large numbers of previously Chinese owned estates over vast areas all over North China, eastern Mongolia and neighborhood of Peking, and for land cultivation, they were using labor force consisting of bondservants which were previous land owners and prisoners of war. According to him, regardless of repeated calls from the tribal chief Nurhachi "The Master should love the slaves", Manchu slave masters treated their slaves very harshly, arranged numerous corvees (Chinese:ÅพญÅฝน, ÅผบÈ¿«çš„ÅŠณÅฝน), and sold and bought their slaves as if they were animals.[2]

Booi was sometimes regarded as synonymous with booi aha, but booi usually referred to household servants who performed domestic service, whereas aha usually referred to the servile people who worked in fields.[3]

[edit] Booi Aha and the Liaodong Han Chinese

The number of booi aha of the Imperial Household Department seems to have risen mainly during the Nurhachi's conquest of the eastern fringes of the Liao River basin in the 1610s and 1620s, resulting in the massive increase of the numbers of captives. In 1618, Nurhachi increased the Jurcaen state's population by 300,000 by taking of Fu-shun. This large increase of its population changed the policy on booi aha. During the first year of conquest(to 1624), the captured Chinese were generally enslaved, and bore obligations to private persons, while later (in 1624-1625) they were often enrolled in the ranks of the semi-dependent agriculture class, jusen, who bore obligations to the state.[4]

[edit] Booi Aha and the Eight Banners

Pamela Kyle Crossley wrote in her book, Orphan Warriors, "The Mongol is the slave of his sovereign. He is never free. His sovereign is his benefactor; [the Mongol] does not serve him for money." This Mongolian traditional model of slave to owner was taken up by the Manchu during the development of Eight Banner Army."

Crossley gave the definition of Manchu: "A Manchu was, moreover, a man who used his skills exclusively to serve the sovereign....banners as institutions were derived from Turkic and Mongolian forms of military servitude, all enrolled under the banners considered themselves slaves of the emperor and called themselves so(aha, Chinese:ÅฅดƉ, pinyin:nucai) when addressing him...".[5]

[edit] Upper Three Banners of Neiwufu

Neiwufu(Chinese:ņ…Å‹™Åบœ) is the Chinese term for Imperial Household Department.

Upper Three Banners of Neiwufu,(Chinese:ņ…Å‹™ÅบœäธŠäธ‰Æ——) (Manchu:booi ilan gusa) was a unique military system of Manchu. Apart from providing the clothings, food, housing and transportation, the operating of daily functioning of the royal families, it also had a military function, which is to provide military protection for the inner royal court.

The Manchu Booi Aha(Home slaves) system was the origin of the Neiwufu(Chinese:Ņงŋ™Åบœ) organization, the personnel of which came from the booi of the Manchu Eight Banner's upper three banners: Border Yellow, Plain Yellow and Plain White.[6] The highest official's title was :Dorgi Baita Icihiyara Amban, a Manchu term,(Chinese:ƀ»çฎ¡Å†…ÅŠ¡ÅบœÅคงȇฃ); that position mostly was occupied by Manchu princes.

In Qing court, the number of eunuchs was reduced to less than 10% of that of Ming court, because eunuchs were being replaced by booi, the Qing royal court's home servants.

[edit] Various classes of Booi

  1. booi niru a Manchu word (Chinese:Ō…È¡ฃäฝÉ ˜), meaning Neiwufu Upper Three Banner's platoon leader of about 300 men.
  2. Booi guanlin a Manchu word (Chinese:Ō…È¡ฃçฎ¡É ˜), meaning the manager of booi doing all the domestic duties of Neiwufu.
  3. Booi amban is also a Manchu word, meaning high official, (Chinese:Ō…È¡ฃÅคงȇฃ).
  4. Estate bannerman (Chinese:Åบ„ÅคดƗ—äบบ) are those renegade Chinese who joined the Jurchen, or original civilian-soldiers working in the fields. These people were all turned into booi aha, or field slaves.

Note: The original Chinese text is on the talk page.

[edit] Han Chinese historians on booi aha

  • Chinese scholar Mo Dongyin (Chinese:ÈŽ«äธœÅฏ…) in his Essays on Manchu History (Chinese:ใ€ŠÆ»¡Æ—ÅฒÈฎบäธ›ใ€‹), booi has dual meaning: (1) Household servants, and (2) slaves. But in a Manchu society, booi (Chinese:Ō…È¡ฃ) occupied a special class, in which they serve their masters by doing all kinds of manual work, at the same time, with the permission granted from the master (Chinese:äธ»Åญ), booi can enslave other booi, thus becoming masters themselves.

With the establishment of the Qing Dynasty and the maturity of its political system, booi were organized into Booi Gusa (Manchu:Slaves Banner) and being incorporated into both the Eight Banners Army and the Imperial Household Department. Booi had since become part of the Qing dynasty political hierarchy, with the emperor being the Master, and emperor's booi would be working for the Master and the imperial court simultaneously. When addressing the emperor, booi would refer to themselves as Nupu or Nucai (Chinese:Åฅดѕ, or Chinese:ÅฅดƉ). But when booi were addressing others, even though they were Nucai of the emperor (Chinese:繇Åธçš„ÅฅดƉ), they would refer to themselves as Superior officials of the Han Chinese (Chinese:Æฑ‰äบบçš„É•¿Åฎ˜).

Note: Original Chinese text can be found on talk page.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ Perdue, Peter (Pub. Date: April 2005). China Marches West. # Publisher: Triliteral. pp. 118. ISBN ISBN 9780674016842. http://books.google.com/books?id=Yd-2tiB6k-YC&pg=PA118&lpg=PA118&dq=bondservant+in+Manchu+time&source=web&ots=QhDVHFNvbL&sig=qjBUeygAIm_r1PtWlhChcBCFxVw&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=2&ct=result. 
  2. ^ Gernet, Jacques (Pub. Date: May 1996). A History of Chinese Civilization. # Publisher: Cambridge University Press. pp. 468. ISBN ISBN 9780521497817. http://books.google.com/books?id=jqb7L-pKCV8C&printsec=frontcover&dq=A+History+of+Chinese+Civilization+By+Jacques+Gernet&hl=zh-TW#PPA468,M1. 
  3. ^ Rawski (1998). The Last Emperors. p. 167. 
  4. ^ Torbert, Preston (: January 1977). The ChÊ»ing Imperial Household Department äฝœÈ€…๏ผšPreston M. Torbert. Harvard University Press. pp. Page 16. ISBN # Publisher: Harvard University Press # Pub. Date: January 1977 # ISBN 9780674127616. http://books.google.com/books?id=heuaCqIrf60C&pg=PA53&dq=The+Ching+Imperial+Household+Department&hl=zh-TW#PPA17,M1. 
  5. ^ Crossley, Pamela (Pub. Date: October 1991). Orphan Warriors äฝœÈ€…๏ผšPamela Kyle Crossley. # Publisher: Princeton University Press. ISBN ISBN 9780691008776. http://books.google.com/books?id=NUTE8V-WhwoC&pg=PA14&dq=Boo-i+Aha+in+Liaodong&hl=zh-TW#PPA15,M1. 
  6. ^ Torbert, Preston (1977). The ChÊ»ing Imperial Household Department äฝœÈ€…๏ผšPreston M. Torbert. Harvard Univ Asia Center. p. 27. ISBN ISBN 0674127617, 9780674127616. http://books.google.com/books?id=heuaCqIrf60C&dq=%22The+Ch%CA%BBing+Imperial+Household+Department&pg=PA27&lpg=PA27&sig=ACfU3U0KMuYtmTJtApkGdNILonvileYzKw&q=fifty-six#PPA27,M1. 

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