Wu Ba Yia (Vwj Paj Yias)

In 1787, in the village of Khawb Pus (Hunan?), a group of Chinese merchants were robbed, and they accused the Hmong in that village for the crime. They used to do this as a pretext to rip off the Hmong. So two Hmong leaders, Sis Mas Yim and Looj Kab Yeeb argued with the Chinese, who sent in 1,300 Chinese soldiers to wipe out Khawb Pu village. 130 Hmong were captured. Sis Mas Yim and Looj Kab Yeeb were sliced to death. The rest was thrown into a burning fire (p204).

From 1787, the Hmong in Hunan and Guizhou planned a revenge for Sis Mas Yim and Looj Kab Yeeb. After 7 years of planning (from 1788 to 1795), Hmong began talking about the coming of a Hmong king. Their slogan was to chase out the Chinese and the Manchu and to get back Hmong land and to regain their independence. This was a rebellion organized by the Hmong in Hubei, Hunan, Guizhou, and Sichuan.

In January 1795, the rebellion began, and lasted until 1806. Wu Pa Yia was selected to be the Hmong king. He was an educated man, and had great martial art skills. It is said that he carried a sword of 45.5 kg, which is about 100 lb. His sword is being kept in a museum in Jishou in Hunan province (p213). Within a year into the rebellion, the Hmong regained most of their lands that were taken by the Chinese. The Chinese deployed a total of 180,000 troops from seven provinces (Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Hunan, Hubei, Guangdong, and Guangxi) led by Fu Kang Nya to suppress the Hmong.

King Wu Pa Yia was captured and tortured to death by slicing in front of every body, on March 25, 1796, just barely over a year into the rebellion, when he was 67 years old. Now Hmong troops grew to 100,000 men. The war continued for 10 more years until it was finally suppressed in 1806. Other Hmong leaders were either killed in battles or captured and executed. Both Wu Tian Ban and Shi San Pao were captured and taken to Beijing to be executed before the emperor. It is said that some 220 Chinese leaders were killed by Hmong in this war, and thousands Chinese troops were killed.

Before the war started, the Hmong had over 4,000 villages with over 400,000 people. After the war, only 1,200 villages remained with 115,019 people alive. It is estimated that over 70% of the villages and people were destroyed during this war. Hmong territory in Hunan and Guizhou alone was being reduced by 80%, from 19,000 square kilometers to 4,000 square kilometers (p.281). Over 90% of Hmong farms were taken by the Chinese.


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