Biography (COB): Fu Xi

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Fu XiFu Xi – 扶羲

Comprehensive Officer Biography

Fu Xi is the first of three noble emperors, the San Huang, in Chinese mythology (1). According to folklore he ruled from 2952 to 2836 BC (116 years) or from 2852 to 2737 BC (115 years) (2).

Fu Xi taught mankind arts, such as fishing, the breeding of silk worms, and taming wild animals. He also invented music, and, most importantly, the eight trigrams, which are said to be the basis of all Chinese writing. Also attributed to him is the invention of casting oracles by the use of yarrow stalks. Fu Xi is also said to have invented the one hundred Chinese family names, and ordered that marriages may only take place between persons bearing different family names (3).

Fu Xi is represented as a human being with the body of a snake. He’s married to his sister Nu Wa, the creation Goddess. In Taoist temples he is usually portrayed holding a panel on which the eight trigrams are inscribed. They represent the heavens.

(1) The San Huang (三皇) were the three first Emperors of China, according to Mythology. They were succeeded by the Wu-di, the five Emperors. <return>

(2) The exact dates are unknown due to the unreliable sources. <return>

(3) The institution of marriage was done in accordance with his wife Nu Wa, who, ironically, was also said to be his sister. One note suggests that since Nu Wa was a heavenly being, while Fu Xi was a human, who later on became a God. This would make more sense as to explain how they got married, but doesn’t explain their relation as brother and sister. Sources for mythology are often different in different regions of a country, and one must remember the fact that Mythological accords and folklore have no real historical basis to fall back on. <return>

Jan Knappert’s Encyclopedia of Middle Eastern Mythology & Religion
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A Kongming’s Archives Exclusive Production