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Legends of Fuxi and Nuwa


In Chinese legend and mythology, Fuxi and Nuwa are the god and goddess who created the mankind. They have snakelike tails and they are siblings. Their mother is Huaxu. Legend has it that Huaxu once visited a place named Leize. She saw a huge footprint. Out of curiosity, she stepped on it. And she got pregnant suddenly. After 12 years of pregnancy, she gave birth to Fuxi. It is believed that that foot print belonged to the God of Thunder. So Fuxi is generally considered the son of the God of Thunder. And Nuwa is his half sister.
 
 
Ancient painting of Fuxi and Nuwa

The Classic of Mountains and Seas, an important book containing many short myths, describes that at the beginning of universe, Fuxi and Nuwa lived in the mountain of Kunlun. For breeding purpose, they should get married but they were ashamed of the idea because they were siblings. After much discussion, they decided to practice divination and leave it in the hands of the Heaven. They set up two fires on the ground apart from each other and vowed to the Heaven that if the smoke rising from the two fires joined together, which was seen as a positive message from the Heaven, they should get married. If the smoke was dispersed, which was seen as a negative answer, they would not. And the smoke joined together so they became a couple.
 
 
A picture of Nuwa repairing the Heaven

But there is another version that is completely different from this. In this version, Nuwa created the mankind by herself. She created a few clay models after seeing her own reflection in a river. And these models came into life and became the first batch of people. And Nuwa also repaired the Heaven, which was broken by Gong Gong, the God of Water, in his flight with Zhu Rong, the God of Fire. Thereafter the Heaven tilted and the flood came. Nuwa cut off four legs from a huge turtle and set them up at the corners to support the Heaven and then she smelted the five-colored stones together and patched up the Heaven.


 

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