Chinese Mythology


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Chinese Mythology

  1. 1. CHINESE MYTHOLOGY By Emily Galow
  2. 2. Chinese History • China is considered to be the first modern state: it had a centralized government with bureaucrats to carry out the wishes of that government • This system of government lasted from 150 BC all the way to 1911 CE • China was advanced
  3. 3. Chinese History, Cont. • Time periods were broken up by Dynasties • Dynasties are ruling families who remained in power as long as they produced Emperors (no, not all of them were male; the Wu Dynasty was founded by a female, and there were a lot of super-powerful Empresses) • All of the Dynasties were overthrown due to rebellion and war
  4. 4. Chinese History, Cont. • The concept of the Mandate of Heaven was founded by the Zhou Dynasty • It was a nifty way to explain why Dynasties came to an end, also featured the concept of Heaven and God • If you’re a bad Emperor/Empress, then you’ve lost the Mandate and should no longer be in power
  5. 5. Chinese History, Cont. • The Zhou Dynasty even made up a Dynasty so as to show how the Mandate of Heaven worked • So some Chinese mythology was created for political reasons and to explain historical events
  6. 6. Chinese Mythology: Overview • • • • • Often deals with themes such as: Perseverance and Self-Sacrifice Rising Up Against Oppression True Love Incorporates religious beliefs (Taoism and Buddhism) into myths
  7. 7. Chinese Mythology: Overview, Cont. • • • • • • Features: Ghosts MANY Gods/Goddesses Heroes Foxes Mythological Creatures
  8. 8. Who’s Who in Chinese Mythology • Nu-Ka • Goddess • Creator of Humans • Made humans out of yellow clay
  9. 9. Who’s Who in Chinese Mythology, Cont. • Lao-Tien-Yeh • “Father Heaven” • The Jade Emperor • Represented the Emperor’s power
  10. 10. Who’s Who in Chinese Mythology, Cont. • Ao • Four Dragon Kings who ruled parts of the Earth and the Sea • People prayed to them in times of drought
  11. 11. Who’s Who in Chinese Mythology, Cont. • Erh-Lang • Shape-shifter, had 72 different forms • Protected humans from evil
  12. 12. Who’s Who in Chinese Mythology, Cont. • Yinglong • Dragon god of water • Helped Huangdi gain power
  13. 13. Who’s Who in Chinese Mythology, Cont. • Huangdi • Real-life Emperor and considered to be part deity • “Yellow Emperor” • Cosmic Ruler
  14. 14. Chinese Myths v. Others • Chinese myths do not have a unified creation story, unlike Greco-Roman and Egyptian Myths • Na-Ku is considered the Creator of Humans in only some areas of China, not all; that myth was believed to have been invented by a different country
  15. 15. Chinese Myths v. Others • Very few mythological heroes/gods/goddesses are universal • Lots of fragmented stories that were believed by only small parts of China • Opposite of Norse, Greco-Roman, Russian, and Egyptian myths
  16. 16. Chinese Mythology in Pop Culture • Fox spirits and the Yin-and-Yang concept are featured in the TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender
  17. 17. Pop Culture • Mulan • Features the mythical warrior from a poem called The Ballad of Mulan • Features a dragon and ancestral spirits
  18. 18. Bibliography • "Chinese Myths and Fantasies." China Virtual Tours, n.d. Web. 21 Nov 2013. <>. • Green, John, dir. 2,000 Years of Chinese History. Crash Course, 2012. Video. 21 Nov 2013. < v=ylWORyToTo4&list=PLBDA2E52FB1EF80C9>. Elick, E., and L. Merchant. "The Gods and Goddesses of China." . N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Nov 2013. <>. Scribe, The. "The Real Story of Mulan." The Ancient Standard. N.p., 17 Jun 2011. Web. 21 Nov. 2013. <>. • •