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Lady Xian (or Hsien, Chinese: 冼夫人; 516-602), also known as Lady of Qiaoguo (or Ch'iao Kuo; Chinese: 譙國夫人), was a Li (俚) noblewoman who lived in what is now Guangdong during the Sui dynasty of Chinese history. Most of her life is recorded in the Book of Sui by Wei Zheng and the History of the Northern Dynasties by Li Dashi and Li Yanshou.[citation needed]

Life[edit | edit source]

Lady Xian was born in 516[citation needed]. She lived during the Sui dynasty in what is now Guangdong in southern China, where her tribe, the Li, lived in heavily forested lands.[citation needed]

She was a notable leader who successfully defended her tribe against its enemies, eventually earning her title as Lady of Qiaoguo (Ch'iao Kuo). When her father died, her brother T'ing took over his position. As he was a weak ruler, she was called on often to aid him with her mother, T'ing's regent, and her council. With her relatives' help, she successfully fought her enemies and let T'ing rule a very large area of Guangdong. T'ing's conceit due to his riches has made his tribe upset, so Lady Xian was called to be their leader. She refused, but did her best to stop her brother and prevent her tribe from being involved in wars.

At 535, she married Feng Pao, a Chinese general, and encouraged an appreciation of Chinese ways among her people.[citation needed]

After the death of her brother, she became leader of her tribe, and pacified her region. She expanded her territory after fighting southern tribes. She also merged the Li and Chinese cultures.

Her accomplishments shocked many Chinese, as she is a woman, so the emperor of the Chen Dynasty bestowed her with many awards, including the title "Lady of Qiaoguo".

She died in 602 of old age.

Someone released a book about her called, Lady of Ch'iao Kuo (516-602) in Southern China.

Family[edit | edit source]

Among her children, only Feng P'u was known by name. He accompanied his mother into many battles, and like her, he was bestowed awards by the Chen emperor.

Lady Xian had three grandsons named Feng Hun, Feng Hsian, and Feng Ang.[citation needed]

Cultural depictions[edit | edit source]

Lady Xian is depicted in the The Royal Diaries novel series in The Lady of Ch'iao Kuo: Warrior of the South, written by Laurence Yep. In the novel, she is known as Princess Redbird.

References[edit | edit source]

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