Biography (COB): Nu Wa

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Nu Wa – 女媧 (1)

Comprehensive Officer Biography

Nu Wa is the Chinese creation goddess, who created the first humans from the yellow earth, after Heaven and Earth had separated. Since this process was too tedious and time-consuming she dipped a rope into mud and then swung it about her. Soon the earth around her was covered with lumps of mud. The handmade figurines became the wealthy and the noble; those that arose from the splashes of mud were the poor and the common.

Nu Wa is one of the most popular goddesses in Chinese custom. She is worshipped both as the intermediary between men and women, and as the goddess who grants children. She invented the whistle, instituted marriage and instructed mankind in the art of building dams and channels for irrigation (2). Nu Wa is also credited with the restoration of the universe after it had been devastated by the monster Gong Gong (3).

One particular myth tells us that at a certain time, the cardinal points where no longer in the proper place, exposing the nine realms. Nu Wa melted coloured stones to mend the azure skies, cut off the legs of a turtle to support the cardinal points, and slew a black dragon to save the land of the Qi. Another myth states that beyond the northwesters ocean there live ten ghosts who were fashioned from Nu Wa’s bowels.

Her husband and brother is the god, Fu Xi. Like her brother, the lower part of her body is portrayed as that of a dragon or snake. When they are represented together, their tails are intertwined. She holds a compass, the symbol of Earth, and her husband holds a set square, the symbol of Heaven.

(1) The original character used for female (which to my limited knowledge is Nu3) is . I’m not sure if this corresponds with the character for Nu Wa, but this seems to be the most logical character. <return>

(2) The institution of marriages was done in cooperation with Fu Xi. <return>

(3) The High Demon Gong Gong is said to be the eternal nemesis of the Jade Emperor. Together with his snake-like servant Xiang Yao, Gong Gong waged war against the Jade Emperor. This could be compared with Christian beliefs of the relations between God and the Devil. <return>

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