Mythology is a compilation of myths. It is the study of traditional stories of heroes and gods. These stories attempt to give explanations for unexplained events. Every society in the world has its own sets of myths. Usually, myths define the traditional, cultural and religious beliefs of a people.
China is one of the world’s oldest known civilizations. It spans over 40, 000 years. Religious traditions such as Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism have helped to shape the Chinese mythology.
Creation of Heaven and Earth
In the beginning, the world had nothing but an egg. Chaos and confusion surrounded the egg. Inside the egg was a sleeping giant, Pan Gu. He slept so deeply and woke up eighteen thousand years later. When he woke up from his slumber, the giant got disturbed by the chaos. He stretched and the egg broke into two equal halves. Every day, Pan Gu grew taller by 10 feet. Hence, the two halves of the egg separated further. The top of the egg became the skies or the heavens. On the other hand, the bottom of the egg, where Pan Gu stood became the earth. Earth was Yin while Heaven was Yang.
After another eighteen thousand years, Pan Gu was too old and tired. He died, but heaven and earth continued to separate. When the giant died, different parts of his body formed different features on earth. Pan Gu’s limbs formed hills, mountains and plateaus. The moon and the sun formed from his eyes while his voice turned into thunder. His body muscle formed nutrient-rich soils while the hair on his body became trees and bushes. Also, his sweat became rain and dew. The blood formed rivers and lakes while his bone marrow became the jade and pearls. Pan Gu’s head hair and beard turned into stars upon his death. Additionally, his teeth and bones turned into gold, silver copper and other precious minerals. The veins in his body became an endless network of roads and paths. At the time of his death, Pan Gu cried a lot. His tears formed the oceans. The last breath he took became the winds and clouds that swept across the world.
Pan Gu became the creator of heaven and earth, as well as the physical features in them.
Creation of Human Beings
When Pan Gu split the egg, Nv Wa was there. She was a travel goddess who had a dragon tail. One day as she was travelling the universe, she came upon the earth. She loved the scenery on earth. Beautiful birds flew and chirped. Insects crawled on the ground. Beautiful butterflies flew over blossoming flowers. Animals roamed the earth. The whole place was beautiful and she liked it. However, she felt lonely. There was an unexplained emptiness that she felt. She did not have company. One day as she sat by the shores of the Yellow River, she saw her reflection in the clear waters.
Nv Wa became amazed. She realized that the earth lacked creations of her kind. Therefore, she took clay from the river bank and moulded a doll in the form of a human. She gave it a head, neck, shoulders and torso. When she got to the bottom part, she became confused. ‘Should this creation walk like the animals or swim?’ she wondered. After much thought, she attached two little legs to her creation. She breathed on to the doll and it sprung alive.
The creator of humans
The creator of humans was Nv Wa. She continued making more of the dolls. Eventually, there was a large number of humans, both male and female. They were in equal numbers. Nv Wa necessitated the attraction of males to females for procreation. One day, she gathered the humans and told them how to reproduce and the need for marriage. The humans followed and began pro-creating. Consequently, the earth had many people on it. That is how humans came into being.
At her old age, Nv Wa called her chariot. Six dragons pulled the chariot. She left earth and left humans under the watch of Fushi.
Fushi realized that humans moved slowly and were easily frightened. They were not able to defend themselves. Hence, Fushi taught humans self-defence and how to fend for themselves. Using plant fibre, humans would make ropes. The ropes would then make fishing nets and bridges. Similarly, Fushi taught humans how to light a fire. Fire was important for cooking, keeping warm and also keeping away wild animals.
Besides that, humans learnt how to make bows and arrows from the available resources. These were hunting tools used by humans to look for food (meat). Increased interaction with animals led to the domestication of some. Humans and some animals began to co-exist without fear of each other. Finally, Fushi taught humans how to communicate by scribbling some writings on tree barks.
Since then, human beings have continued to make discoveries and inventions. This explains why China has a long history of civilization due to the continuous changes the country has been undergoing.