In Chinese mythology, the patroness of matchmakers. As wife or sister of the legendary emperor Fu Xi, she helped establish norms for marriage (that included go-betweens) and regulated conduct between the sexes (Source: The Britannica)
She had a human head but the body of snake. Or a fish. In Chinese mythology, Nu Gua (in one story Nu and Gua were considered the first human beings on earth) was the patroness of matchmakers, meaning she established the norms for marriage and developed the rules of conduct between the sexes. But she did much more than that. Pillars of heaven need refurbishing? Nu Gua fixed them. Corners of the earth broken? Nu Gua brought her tool kit of a tortoise and melted-down stones. She even built a palace made with material prepared by mountain spirits. Source: Nu Gua, TIME, Friday, Apr. 22, 2011
The importance of the Yellow River is shown in many of ancient China’s myths. One of these tells the story of how Nu Gua created human beings.
Nu Gua was sitting by the banks of the Yellow River one day. She admired the beauty of the river and the land but felt sad that it was such a lonely and quiet place. She started to make little models of the gods out of the yellow clay that lay on the banks of the Yellow River.
It was taking Nu Gua a very long time to model each person. So, she started to use a cane from the river to flick droplets of the yellow clay. Each droplet transformed into a human being.
When she had finished making each model it magically came to life. These were the first people on earth.
It is said that the people who were modeled by Nu Gua’s hand became the rich, powerful and fortunate people. The people formed by the cane became the poor and unlucky people on earth.
Another story about Nu Gua tells how she saved the world from a great flood.
One day a great hole opened in the sky. Water came pouring out of it. Thousands of people were swept away as the rivers burst their banks and the waters rose to great heights. Other people survived only by climbing to the tops of the highest mountains.
Nu Gua looked down on what was happening, and was horrified to see the people suffering so much. She took a magical five-coloured stone and melted it down until it was a hot lava. She used this to fix the hole in the sky.
She then sacrificed the heavenly tortoise and used its legs to hold up the four corners of the sky. She stopped the floods by using soil to create huge dams and lakes.
Huang Di, the Yellow Emperor, was pleased that Nu Gua had saved the people on Earth. Nu Gua however did not want a reward or any shrines to be erected in her honour. She instead asked for Huang Di to look after the people on earth better from then on. She then disappeared.
Source: Ancient China
“The pair of Nu-wa and Fuxi story is thought to be a variant type of the Izanagi and Izanami primordial couple:
Nu gua was a goddess from waist up a beautiful lady and from waist down a dragon. She was alone so she created Fu xi. Her husband.It was him who wrote about the I Ching. One day she was walking around & she came apon the Yellow River. So (nobody knows why) she decided to create mankind. With the mud that was at the bottom of the river she started molding them. At first she created them with her own hand but she became tired. So with a rope she dipped it inside and the drops that went falling went turning into people. The ones she made by hand became nobles and the others became commoners. The emperor was supposed to be a descendant of Nu gua and Fu xi.” Source: Nu wa and Fuxi
The formal Beifanghua name for Nuzhen is “Dà Nǚzhēn Wángguó”, which directly translated means “The Great Kingdom of Nuzhen”, although in an old manuscript dated to 1730, the ruler of Nuzhen was indeed refered to by the Chinese word “gong” (公), roughly corresponding to the English word for Duke. The Chinese title was conferred upon Giocangga I, by the Chinese Emperor after Giocangga set out to unite the various Jurchen tribes. Later on, when Nuzhen became a protectorate of the Chinese Empire, Nuzhen was allowed to keep its name to show that it posessed de jure autonomy. It should be noted that the English-language classification of Nuzhen as a “Grand Duchy” does not appear in its Chinese equivalent in any of Nuzhen’s historical manuscripts.
Archery, played with a traditional recurve bow, as well as horseback riding are two of Nuzhen’s favorite traditional sports. A nomadic culture, though fast vanishing, still exists to a degree in the backwaters of Nuzhen, practiced by the descendants of the Mongol and Manchu tribesmen of the 18th century.
many young people from the countryside have given up the nomadic lifestyle to settle down in small towns or look for work in larger cities. The government is now in the process of trying to preserve this culture.
While Nuzhen has no official state religion, the three traditional philosophies of China, Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism dominate the religious scene. Spirit Festival, Ullambana (for Buddhists) Preparation of ritualistic offering food in remembrance of the dead, burying and releasing miniature paper boats and lanterns on water, which signifies “giving directions to the lost ghosts”. Source: Nuzhen
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