Chinese Mythology Nuwa Mends the Sky

The Chinese Mythological Story of Nuwa Mends the Sky

Chinese Mythology Nuwa Mends the Sky tells of the great contributions of goddess Nuwa in rescuing humanity from the brink of destruction.

Nuwa (女媧) is the greatest ancient goddess in Chinese Mythology and is included in the list of the Three August Ones and Five Emperors. She was the younger sister of Fuxi, who was the head of the Three August Ones, and also his wife.

Though there are many legends about Nuwa, the most famous one is probably the story of Nuwa mends the sky with stones, as told by below.

Illustrator: Iva Mykhailian

Legend has it that when the goddess Nuwa created humans, for a long time, the world lived peacefully and happily.

One year, for some unknown reason, the Water god Gonggong and the Fire god Zhurong started fighting. Their battle was fierce, with them fighting from the sky down to the ground. In the end, Zhurong emerged victorious.

After his defeat, Gonggong felt ashamed and angry, thinking he could no longer live in the world, so he smashed his head against Buzhoushan mountain to commit suicide. However, he didn’t hit it hard enough, so he didn’t die. When he woke up, he continued to disturb Yu the Great who was working to control the water. Additionally, due to Gonggong’s headbutt, the world had to suffer a great disaster.

Nuwa Mends the Sky
Nuwa Mends the Sky

Buzhoushan mountain was a column supporting the sky in the northwest, but Gonggong’s headbutt caused it to collapse, and a corner of the sky fell.

Half of the sky collapsed, revealing huge holes in the sky. The ground cracked into deep holes, mountains and forests burned, and water overflowed and churned. In a moment, the earth became a vast sea, and ferocious creatures began to roam and wreak havoc everywhere. Humanity faced the threat of extinction.

Moved by the human tragedy, Nuwa felt sorry for them. Unable to punish Gonggong, she rolled up her sleeves and worked tirelessly day and night to patch up the sky and earth.

It was an enormous and difficult task, but Nuwa always cared about the happiness of humanity, so the hard work did not wear her out. She steadfastly shouldered the burden alone.

The Story of Nuwa Mends the Sky
The Story of Nuwa Mends the Sky

First, she collected various colored stones from the large rivers, melted them into a sticky substance like glue, and used the stones to fill all the holes in the blue sky.

Afraid that the sky might collapse again, she killed a large turtle and cut off its four legs to erect them as columns at the four corners of the earth to support the sky. From then on, the sky was propped up, resembling a tent. These columns were sturdy and would prevent the sky from collapsing again.

During that time, in the plains, a fierce black dragon was rampaging and killing the people. Goddess Nuwa killed the dragon and drove away all the ferocious birds, so that people would no longer fear being ravaged by them. The last thing that needed to be done was to prevent the floods from harming humans, so she took reeds from the riverbanks, burned them into ash, and piled them up to block the water flow.

The calamity caused by the Water god Gonggong was wiped out by Nuwa, saving humanity from the brink of extinction.

Legend of Nuwa
Legend of Nuwa

From then on, prosperity returned to the earth. The four seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter followed one another, and the temperature changed accordingly. The ferocious birds gradually became tame and made friends with humans. Everywhere, natural food was abundant, and people only needed to pick and eat to be satisfied. Humans lived happily and carefree, without any fear.

It is said that Nuwa also invented a musical instrument made of bamboo pipes. Thirteen pipes were assembled together, resembling a phoenix tail, and when played, it sounded very crisp and pleasant, which she gave to humans. From then on, human life on earth became even more joyful and happy.

The Story of Nuwa Mends the Sky
– Chinese Mythology –

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