Honest Myth:Chinese- Nu Gua

So, I actually found this goddess while pinning pictures on my mythology pinterest board. I loved this picture and started searching up Nu Gua (also known as Nu Kua or Nu Wa).

I am not sure who the artist is, but if you know please tell me.

I am not sure who the artist is, but if you know please tell me. I find this picture to be extremely beautiful.

Nu Gua is usually depicted as a young woman, with a human head and the lower body of a dragon/snake. I have seen some pictures/artwork where she is all human, but I have also seen some where she is entirely a snake with a woman’s head. Personally, I prefer the version where she has the upper body of human female.

Nu Gua is a creator Goddess, and she is credited with making the first humans from yellow earth after heaven and Earth had been separated. At first, she hand sculpted each person, but found that it was taking much to long. To shorten the task, Nu Gua took a rope, dipped it into mud, and begun swinging the rope above her head. The mud flung all around her, and splashes that occurred became the peasantry. Those that she had sculpted were the noble men.

She is also the Goddess that intermediates between man and woman, granting them children, and instituting marriage. After doing so, she married Fu Shi (Fu Xi) a cultural hero. He too is depicted with a snake body and human head. When ever he and Nu Gua are shown together, there bodies are intertwined (since they represent first union/Patriarch and Matriarch). He is her husband and brother.

She is said to be one of the Three Augusts or three  spirits that helped bring civilization to man. I am not to sure who the other two are, but I suspect Fu Xi may be one of them.

Nu Gua also seemed to save the universe. In the story, she helped restore the universe after Gong Gong, a Chinese sea demon who caused a great flood and smashed his head against a mountain a pillar holding up the sky, had destroyed it. This caused many problems such as the tearing of the sky, throwing the four cardinal points off balance, and release of the black dragon (who was water and thus the essence of the flood). Nu Gua took melted colored stones and used them to stitch together the sky (this referencing the different colors that the sky takes on). The five colored stones also helped create seasons. Then she had to cut the legs of a turtle to use as pillars for supporting the cardinal points. She later also destroyed the black dragon.

Her symbol is the compass which also represents the Earth.

I hope you enjoyed!

-Blog Barista

Check it out:

Edited by Grimal, Pierre. Larousse World Mythology. London: The Hamlyn Publishing Group Limited, 1965, pp. 285-288. Print.

This had to have made you smile!

This had to have made you smile!

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Daily Myth:Chinese- Mazu

As always if anyone knows who the artists of the pictures may be, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

Mazu, Goddess of the Sea by ArthurJo, via Flickr

Mazu, Goddess of the Sea by ArthurJo, via Flickr

Mazu Goddess of the Sea

Mazu Goddess of the Sea via mermaidsofcolor.tumblr.com

Mazu Goddess of the Sea via mermaidsofcolor.tumblr.com

Mazu is the Chinese Goddess of the Sea. She protects sailors and fishermen and helps guide those out at sea to the cost. She is worshiped by many outside of China; such as Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, and Hawaii.  She is based off of a legend about a mortal girl who became a divinity. She was born as Lin Moniang, daughter of a fisher man, and she had four brothers. Because she did not cry when she was born, her family named her Silent Girl. In paintings she is always seen wearing a red robe, but in most of her sculptures she is seen in white, orange, and gold. She is also shown in the garb of an empress with many jewels and the flat beaded hat of imperial family. It is said that she learned to swim at the age of fifteen (considered very late), but that she had a gift at it and perfected it in no time. Also, she would stand by the shore of the sea ever day in bright red robes so as to safely guide the fishermen back to the shore.  She did so no matter what the weather.

Mazu Statue in Sinwu, Taiwan

Mazu Statue in Sinwu, Taiwan

The legend goes as follows: Moniang had four brothers and her father that all fished for a living. And one day there was a devastating typhoon. Everyone was sure that the fishermen would die out at sea. So, the family began to pray, and while praying, Moniang ell into a trance like state. She had a vivid dream that her father and brothers were drowning, so she began focusing on them trying desperately to save them. Her mother found her alseep and woke her in the middle of her dream. Moniang’s father and three of her brothers returned the next day, and they reported the miracle that occurred. But one brother had drowned, dropped by Moniang when her mother woke her from her stupor. Afterwards, an immortal gave her a talisman and she became immortal too. At about the age of thirty, she climbed Meifeng Peak and ascended to heaven as a divinity herself. She roamed the country as a Goddess, rescuing fishermen in danger at sea.

With-the-Wind Ear by Angie Hu (check out  her Etsy Angiehuarts)

With the Wind Ear by Angie Hu (check out her Etsy Angiehuarts)

Thousand Miles Eye by Angie Hu (check out  her Etsy Angiehuarts)

Thousand Miles Eye by Angie Hu (check out her Etsy Angiehuarts)

In much of her art, Mazu is shown accompanied by these two ogre like creatures. They are two guardian generals and her close friends. One is green with one horn. He is called Thousand Mile Eyes, and he is usually shown as a demon with his hand above his eyes, looking into the distance. The second one h was red with to horns, and big ears. He is called With the Wind Ear. He is typically depicted pointing at his ear. In many occasions, I have seen their colors swapped, but they can usually be identified by their gestures. It is said that they are two demons that Mazu conquered. They were both in love with her and wanted to marry her, but she said that only the one able to defeat her would she marry. So each of them battled with her, and she defeated both with martial arts. Afterwards, they became her friends.

Thousand Miles Eye & With-the-Wind Ear

Thousand Miles Eye & With the Wind Ear

There are two versions of how Moniang died. In one story she went up the mountain alone and flew to heaven (as mentioned above). In the second story, she went out to sea to look for her father. While swimming, she became exhausted and drowned. Her body was believed to be found on one of the Matsu Islands. It is said that after she died she forever roams the sea.   If you like Mazu and want to know more, check out this website: http://www.cultural-china.com/chinaWH/html/en/13Traditions1962.html

-Blog Barista

Have a nice day!

Have a nice day!