Zhuge Liang's Southern Campaign (Stories from the Stones)

The beautiful carving from the tomb of  Mr. and Mrs. Teo Chin Chay tells a very interesting story from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms ( 三國演義 ). The clue from this panel is the gentleman sitting in the wheelchair holding a feather fan provides the clue. The person is no other than Zhuge Liang (諸葛亮). The next clue is the battle taking place between 2 warriors and if you look carefully one of them is on an elephant ! 

The story is likely about an event that took place during Zhuge Liang's Southern Campaign against an uprising by rebellious forces in the south (Nanzhong -which covers present-day Yunnan, Guizhou and southern Sichuan). The elephant is representation of the "Southern Barbarians" challenging the Shu kingdom. This event, now often label as fictional is about the “Seven Captures of Meng Huo” (七擒孟获) depicts Zhuge Liang using a psychological strategy by capturing leader Meng Huo seven times and setting him free seven times, convincing him that he would always lose the battle, avoiding further bloodshed and gaining loyalty of the people in the South. 

Seven Captures of Meng Huo” (七擒孟获) 





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