This essay considers the concept of “prophets of renewal” introduced by James Scott in The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (2009), as seen in the context of the 1795–97 Miao revolt along China’s Hunan-Guizhou border. The appearance of a “Miao King” and four “Wu kings” centering anti-Qing resistance in an intractable highland—utilizing native legends, spirit possession, investment of officials, and multi-ethnic recruitment—suggests a case of “Zomia” (the vast Southeast Asian Massif) prophets in action, as Scott himself suggests. Closer examination, however, reveals a more complex and uncertain picture, characterized by division between rival lords and an overall dearth of institutional, ideological, or cosmological elaboration, all further obscured by a paucity of historical sources. The Miao kings might be seen as prophets of renewal in a general sense, but the fit is inexact. There is still value, however, in considering Scott’s model in the study of this event. It enables a sharper conceptualization of the agency of the Miao people, while offering a case for comparison with analogous instances of religiously-based native resistance on other Qing frontiers.