Sunday, March 1, 2009

Nuwa Makes Men 2

The name Nuwa first appears in one of the Elegies of Chu entitled Tian Wen:

Nuwa loved peace and delighted in making things. She moulded figures from the yellow earth and gave them life and the ability to bear children: this is how humanity was created. When demons fought a terrible war, they broke the pillars which held the heavens up. The firmament cracked open and the human world was put in mortal peril.

To save the lives of those she had created, Nuwa worked unceasingly, melting down the five-coloured stones to mend the breach. When the firmament was whole again, Nuwa, exhausted by her toil, lay down on the earth and was transformed into a vast mountain range. In this way, she nurtured the growth of the Chinese nation by providing a rich and fertile land. This well-known tale is known as 'Nuwa Mends The Firmament.'

Amongst China's ethnic minorities, another story has survived concerning how Emperor Fuxi came to take his sister Nuwa as his bride. This tale is known as A Brother And Sister Marry.

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