Qianjiadong, the Lost Paradise of The Iu-Mien People (Documentary)

Where did Iu-Mien people come from?

A hot topic of discussion amongst the most-revered historians, educators, and nationals leaders in the Mienh community. This documentary by Chinese broadcasting company, Beijing TV, seeks to answer that very question.

We've compiled all video clips into a single documentary film. Watch it here:


What is Qianjiadong?

Qianjiadong, pronounced CHIN-JAA-DONG, meaning "thousand household family." A place big enough for many, many families, and perhaps where the 12 Iu-Mien clans all used to live and work together centuries ago.

(the Traditional Chinese characters for the word Qianjiadong)

Qianjiadong, a place that exists in China. Where beautiful valleys are surrounded by lush green hills, long and flowing rivers, with birds and flowers of all kinds. Where you could live in peace and harmony.

A place where Iu-Mien people are thought to have come from almost a thousand years ago.

(the cave big enough to fit an Ox as told from Mienh folklore, after discovering, it began the journey towards finding the 12 Iu Mien Clans forgotten homeland)

According to original video clip uploader, Lee Saechao:

"It was once an important place of residence for Yiuh Mienh (Iu-Mien) people and is recognized as their place of origin. But they were forced to leave Qianjiadong 700 hundred years ago. After that, Qianjiadong has become kind of a Holy Land for Yiuh Mienh people. This video was captured from Beijing TV illustrating an outside perspective about the Yao Yiuh Mienh Minority's history. This video was translated it into English by a Yao Yiuh Mienh from China, so that our people in Southeast Asia, U.S. and Europe could learn about a piece of our beautiful history. Enjoy this video.

Thank you to my new Yao Iu Mien friend from China: Bruce of Fudan University for sharing this with the Yao Iu-Mien people all over the world. Let's continue to remember and enlighten the world about our culture and history!"

(Google maps location of Qianjiadong in Hunan, China - GPS location)

The exact location for the homeland of Mienh people is unknown. This topic has been contentiously debated amongst the highest of Iu-Mien historians, educators, and national leaders. Whether or not the real Qianjiadong actually exists can neither be denied nor confirmed.

(image of the 12 pieces Ox horn statue placed in Qianjiadong, China; each piece of the horn representing the 12 Iu-Mien Clans, notice the Chinese characters for Qianjiadong, "thousand household family")

In China, Qianjiadong has been recognized as a natural heritage site of the Yao people (checkout this official Chinese wiki with photos, be sure to translate to English). Yao means barbarians/mountain people and is a common reference to all Iu-Mien people by the Chinese government, although there are many Yao minority ethnic groups in China mainland.

(BAONG, an ancient relic-inspired art piece, and now brought to life)

The truth, is that another famous document known as Guo Shan Bang or Jiex Sen Borngv, literal translation, "passport for crossing the mountain" once existed (there are many forged copies in existence). An original document unlike any other, a royal decree that enabled the Iu-Mien people to live in peace, without taxation, and complete autonomy to self-govern in their own lands. The document is written in Ancient Chinese, the exact same writing that is often found in many Iu-Mien household books when recited by shamans during ceremonies (siepx mien).

(image of Guo Shan Bang aka Jiex Sen Borngv, "Passport for Crossing the Mountain" - new article coming; notice 12 figures)

An interesting fact, Mien people were generally farmers and known to be illiterate but passed on knowledge through word of mouth. It makes one wonder then, how did the shamans learn Ancient Chinese? A language, in those days, reserved only for Chinese royalty or members of the Imperial Court. Is this somehow related to the mythology about Iu-Mien people originating from royalty? A story about King Pan/Pan Hu marrying the Emperor's daughter and leading to the formation of the 12 clans (check out this amazing children's book, "Legend of the Dog Warrior," written by Author David Saechao of Redding, CA)

(image of King Pan at King Pan Square in Qianjiadong, China, photo by Tommy Phan)

On a related note, the King Pan festival is held annually in Southern China (in Guangxi, Guangdong, or Hunan, China) in commemoration of the Mien progenitor of the 12 Iu Mien clans. What's more, there are Mien people living in Southeast China.

(From Facebook, Iu Mien Sae - King Pan Festival in Yunnan, China 11/15/2019)

These Mien-Chinese never migrated to Laos, Thailand, or America and majority speak the exact same dialect as the Mienh people in the United States. Therefore, if you speak the Mien language or can understand, then you'll be pleasantly surprised to find out that you can communicate with Mien people living in Southern China almost perfectly. Is all of this coincidence? We'll let you decide. Comment below your thoughts.

✈️ Interested in visiting the Lost Paradise of Qianjiadong?

Many have traveled to confirm its authenticity. Check out reviews here.

Additional reading at Tommy Phan's website, here.

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