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Did Zhugeliang invent Mantou 馒头?


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#1 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 08:17 AM

I'm just wondering if Zhugeliang had invented "Mantou 馒头", a kind of chinese food that is more appropriately translated as "steamed bread".

According to legend, during the 3 kingdoms period, Menghuo of "Nanman (literally mean southern barbarian)" often raided the southern borders of Shu kingdom. Zhugeliang dispatched army to quelch this constant raid/rebellion. Near the Lu river, there are very few people and it was said that the air and water in the Lu river are poisonous. Many of the Shu soldiers died after drinking the poisonous water and absorbing these poisonous gase.

One of the subordinate of Zhugeliang came up with a superstitious idea: kill a few "Nanman 南蛮" captives and use their heads to 'offer sacrifice' to the river god. Of course, Zhugeliang did not agree to killing the "Nanman" captives, but in order to boost the morale of the soldiers, he came up with an idea: to take the flour and other ingredients, then press and mould them into a 'head-shape', then steam them, in order to 'offer sacrifice' to the river god.

From then on, this type of "cooked wheaten food" was passed down, and was spreaded to the north. It became to be called 'Man Tou 蛮头" (literally translated as "the head of the barbarian" : Man 蛮 - Barbarian, Tou 头 - head). But "head of barbarian" sounded scarey and thus, people used another character that sounded similar to "man 蛮" to replace it. Though it was continued to be called "Man Tou", the character 馒 was used instead, thus written as "馒头 (Man Tou)". From then on, this food became a major food of northern chinese.

I don't know whether this story is historically accurate.

Does anyone know the actual historical origin of "Man Tou"?
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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#2 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 08:18 AM

For those who do not know what is a "Man Tou"...here is a picture

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"夫君子之行:靜以修身,儉以養德;非淡泊無以明志,非寧靜無以致遠。" - 諸葛亮

One should seek serenity to cultivate the body, thriftiness to cultivate the morals. If you are not simple and frugal, your ambition will not sparkle. If you are not calm and cool, you will not reach far. - Zhugeliang

#3 karewa

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 11:45 PM

:P hehe Zhugeliang created "man tou" and Yue Fei created "congee" ...or "yau zhar kwai" hehehe.... personally i felt that was their biggest contribution rating from the current times...

#4 naruwan

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 12:32 AM

For those who do not know what is a "Man Tou"...here is a picture

Posted Image

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That's not a Mantou man! Those obviously are Baozi!

For those of you who don't know. The word Mantou also exist in the Turkic language. It's also written as Manta, but often read as Mantu. For the Turkic people, this word stands for both Mantou and Baozi.

In Uighur language, Mantut∫ï = Mantuchi or Mantupεz-Mantipεz means people that makes Mantou or Baozi, or even dumplings.

It's hard to tell which one came first since the Turkic language didn't have writting until 300 years after the Han 3K period.

Back in Song dynasty, in 《燕翼詒謀錄》written in Song dynasty by 王「木永」

仁宗皇帝誔生之日,賜群臣包子,即鏝頭別名。今俗屑饅發酵,或有餡或無餡,蒸食者謂之饅頭。


So back in Song dynasty was when Baozi and Mantou started to mean different things in Han language. However in the Turkic language, it remained the same.

Edited by naruwan, 22 July 2005 - 12:39 AM.

mudanin kata mudanin kata. kata siki-a kata siki-a. muhaiv ludun muhaiv ludun. kanta sipal tas-tas kanta sipal tas-tas. kanta sipal tunuh kanta sipal tunuh. sikavilun vini daingaz sikavilun vini daingaz.

Former hansioux

#5 Hua Xiong

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 06:06 AM

Very interesting..never heard of such a type of food before. Thanks for the info.
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#6 Mei Houwang

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 09:44 PM

Bao Zi rocks. If you're going to eat Mantou eat noodles instead. All Mantou does is make you thirsty.

#7 青文景武剑

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 09:45 PM

manto does not look like that but...........it can be a type of manto?
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有福同享有难同当是兄弟,
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#8 CARDINAL009

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 09:27 PM

Bao Zi rocks. If you're going to eat Mantou eat noodles instead. All Mantou does is make you thirsty.

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Agrees w. you.

Most Chinese bread items (i.e., Mantou) has msg (esp. in the S/F Bay Area region).
CARDINAL009

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#9 Yun

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Posted 25 July 2005 - 11:38 PM

I analysed the Mantou story one year ago in this thread:

http://www.chinahist...8
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#10 Liang Jieming

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 12:00 AM

Zhuge Liang's "Human" Sacrifice
(Mantou)
Period: Three Kingdoms (A.D. 220-280)

Zhuge Liang was the Prime Minister of the state of Shu (Han), one
of the kingdoms of the Three Kingdoms Period.

During a march homeward after leading a successful campaign
against the southern semi-civilized tribes of the Mang Chieftains,
Zhuge Liang's army came to the River Lu. They reached the River
Lu in autumn, the ninth month. Wei Yan was in command of the
advanced column but on his arrival the clouds gathered and a gale
blew over the face of the waters. Because of the force of the gale,
the army could not advance.

Wei Yan reported his difficulty to Zhuge Liang who in turn, asked
Meng Huo, the head of the Mang Chieftains and Nobles who were
in attendence to do honor to the army of Shu on its departure, if he
knew of any reason for such a storm.

Meng Huo replied, "Wild spirits have always troubled those who
would cross this river. It is necessary to sooth them with sacrifices."

When Zhuge Liang asked him of the nature of the sacrifice, Meng
Huo replied, "In the old days when malicious spirits brought
misfortune, they sacrificed humans to the number of seven sevens
and offered their forty-nine heads. They also slew a black ox and a
white goat. Sacrificed thus, the wind will subside and the waters
come to rest. The same used to be done to secure a bountiful
harvest."

Zhuge Liang, aghast with the use of human sacrifice promptly
replied, "How can I slay a single person now that fighting is done
and peace has returned?", and went down to the river to see for
himself. True enough the north wind was blowing hard and the waves
were high. Both humans and horses alike, seemed frightened and
he was perplexed with the problem. Then he sought out some of the
natives and questioned them, from which he was told, "We have
heard the demons moaning every night since your army crossed the
river. The cries begin at dusk and continued till dawn. There are many
dark demons in the malarial vapors, and no one dares cross."

Zhuge Liang, upon hearing this was full of remorse, for because of his
campaigns, thousands of soldiers and people had died and their poor
distressed souls have not yet been freed. He therefore resolved to
perform the sacrifice according to the ancient rule of forty-nine.

However, instead of slaying more people, Zhuge Liang ordered balls
of flour paste to be fashioned in the shape of human heads and
stuffed with the meat of oxen and goats. These would be called
'mantou' or 'human heads' and be used as sacrifice instead. By
nightfall, an altar was set up on the bank of the river with the forty-
nine sacrificial "human heads" piled up on the ground. In the middle
of the third watch, at midnight, Zhuge Liang offered the sacrifice to the
river. By the next morning, the winds and waves had died down and
the river was calm, allowing the army of Shu to cross safely.

The extra dough and meats were made into additional "mantou" and
distributed to the soldiers as breakfast. It is from this incident that
until today, we still eat "mantou" or "human heads" for breakfast.

#11 Yun

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Posted 26 July 2005 - 12:08 AM

I personally think it was a myth made up by later persons, perhaps the Song dynasty writer Gao Cheng himself.
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#12 Drew1986

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Posted 06 November 2005 - 11:18 PM

man, you guys made me hungry. Haven't have breakfast yet...




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