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Nuwa, the goddess of creation in ancient Chinese mythology, whose main achievements are to make people by tufting the earth and refining colorful stones to repair the sky. Fuxi is also the ancestor of China in mythology. He invented gossip, created words, and tied ropes to teach people to fish and hunt.Almost everyone in China has heard the legends of Fuxi and Nuwa, and many provinces have found cultural relics with them as the theme.
"Fuxi and Nuwa Picture" (Tang Dynasty) Ink and color on silk, collected by the National Museum of China (Source: Sohu.com)
The TV series "The Legend of Sword and Fairy" that was popular in previous years 1", Zhao Ling'er, a descendant of Nuwa played by Liu Yifei, is favored by the audience for his pure and kind image. Many viewers are also puzzled while appreciating: Why is Nu Wa not a complete human form, but a "terrible" human head and snake body?
Legend of Xia 1" Nüwa descendant Zhao Ling'er (Liu Yifei) head snake body stills (picture from the Internet)
Xinjin cultural relics supporting the image of Fuxi and Nwa
Looking through various historical books, the earliest record of Nüwa is the "Shanhaijing·Dahuangxijing" in the pre-Qin period: "There are ten gods, named Nüwa's intestines, transformed into gods, in the wild of Liguang, and everywhere. "Guo Pu of the Jin Dynasty commented: "Nu Wa, an ancient goddess and emperor, with a human face and a snake body, 70 changes in a day. Its belly turned into a god. "During the Warring States Period, Qu Yuan wrote in "The Songs of Chu·Heaven Questions": "Nuwa has a body, who is a craftsmanWhat?" (Nu Wa has such a special body, and who made her like this?) Eastern Han Dynasty Wang Yi's comment: "Nu Wa, a human head and a snake body. "Wang Yanshou's "Lu Lingguang Palace Fu" also said: "Fuxi scale body, Nuwa snake body. "It seems that since at least the Han Dynasty, people have thought that Nu Wa was a snake with a human head.
The image of Fuxi and Nuwa as "human head and snake body" was the mouth and ear of the ancestors in an era without words According to legend, the leftovers have always made people wonder. Is there such a legend in ancient times? But the portraits of Fuxi and Nuwa unearthed in the cliff tombs of the Han Dynasty in Xinjin have confirmed their legendary image.
Portraits of Fuxi and Nuwa unearthed in Baozishan, Xinjin (photo courtesy of the author)
Several portraits of Fuxi and Nuwa were unearthed in Xinjin County. The portrait in the above picture is from the tombstone letter of Hanya in Baozi, Shandong. In the portrait, Nu Wa is on the left, holding the moon in her hand, and there are laurels and toads in the moon. On the right is Fuxi, holding the sun in his hand, and there are three-legged crows in the middle of the day. Fuxi and Nuwa are human heads and snake bodies, with two tails intersecting, wearing a crown, wearing a long-sleeved robe with fluttering belts.
This looks very simple painting, but it actually hides too many ancient legends.
First of all, the three-legged crow in the painting is also called Chiwu. In "Huainanzi·Spirit""There is a black crow in the sun", the Eastern Han Dynasty Gaoluo commented: "Chu, you are still squatting. It is called a three-legged crow." In other words, the three-legged crow is a sacred bird squatting in the sun and a symbol of the sun. The symbols of the moon are toads and laurel trees (derived from the legend of Wu Gang's cutting of osmanthus), so the moon is called the "toad palace" in later generations.
Secondly, we must talk about Fuxi. Fuxi was named Mixi, Xixi, Baoxi, Fuxi, and Fuxi was written in "Records of the Historian" and he was honored as Emperor Xi. Wang Jia of the Eastern Jin Dynasty wrote in "Supplementary Notes": "...I saw another god, a snake body with a human face, and a picture showing Yu and the Eight Diagrams, which are listed on the gold plate. The snake body is a god, that is, the Emperor Xi." Tang Dai Simazhen wrote in "Mixed History of the Three Emperors": "The head of a snake body has a holy virtue...so it is called the Mi Xi family." Later, the court called Fuxi merged with the gods such as Taihao and Qingdi. "Taihao Fuxi Family".
Fuxi and Nuwa
Is it a couple or a sibling?
Why does this painting put Fuxi and Nuwa against each other? What is their relationship?
In 1942, the Tomb of Chu in the Warring States Period in the Changshatan Library in Hunan was stolen, and a precious silk book was unearthed (now in the Sackler Museum of Art, Washington, USA). The first piece of the silk book records: "Fuxi , Nu Wa married and had four sons..." and other sentences, this is the earliest record of the relationship between the two that can be seen so far. The later version of "Fun Su Tong" of the Han Dynasty said: "Nv Wa, Fu Xi's sister." A more detailed legend is that Fu Xi's mother was the Hua Xu family living in Kunlun Mountain. When I was traveling, I saw a huge footprint and stepped on it out of curiosity. Suddenly she felt like she was surrounded by snakes. As a result, she gave birth to Fuxi in 12 years of pregnancy, and then to Nuwa. After the brothers and sisters became adults, a huge flood broke out.Spiritually, Fuxi and Nuwa hid in a huge gourd and survived. In order to multiply, the two discussed and became husband and wife, and felt ashamed, they asked the gods: "If you agree that my brother and sister are husband and wife, then gather the clouds in the sky; if you don't agree, let the white clouds spread out." The clouds immediately gathered together, and the two of them became husband and wife.
This legend does not belong to one ethnic group in one place. It is found in Sichuan, Gansu, Henan, Shandong, Jiangsu and even Xinjiang. Moreover, the Miao people also have the legend of "Fuge Fumei governing the population", Buyi and Yao There are also legends of "Fuxi Brothers and Sisters". from this angleLooking at it, Fuxi and Nuwa can be regarded as the common ancestor of the Chinese.
The astounding secret hidden by "human head and snake body"
From the common sense, Fuxi and Nuwa who created Chinese civilization can certainly not be real "Human head and snake body." Describing them like this reflects the totem belief that the primitive tribes where Fuxi and Nuwa belonged to worship the snake. As mentioned in the previous article, the earliest record of Nüwa is the ancient book Shan Hai Jing. Because the gods and animals recorded in this book are too magical, they have always been regarded as mythological books. With the archaeological discoveries in the Sichuan Basin in recent decades, especially the advent of the Baodun Culture, Sanxingdui Culture, and Jinsha Culture, experts were surprised to find that the records of the "Shan Hai Jing" centered on the Sichuan Basin.
In 1986, 10 bronze snakes were excavated from the No. 2 sacrificial pit of Sanxingdui, Guanghan. Most of their bodies were S-shaped and curved in shape., The head is slightly raised, with ears and long eyes on the head, the eyeballs are round and convex, and the tail is rolled up. The snake is painted with cloud patterns, scales, and wings, and it seems to be about to take off immediately. In addition, there is a bronze figure holding a snake.
Bronze snakes unearthed at Sanxingdui (photo courtesy of the author)
Some stone snakes have also been excavated in the sacrifice pit at the Jinsha site in Chengdu, most of which are coiled around the ground. Features such as eye sockets and pupils.
Stone snakes unearthed at Jinsha site (photo provided by the author)
The characters engraved on tortoise shells and ox bones in the dynasty are called oracle bone inscriptions, and the characters engraved on bronze wares in the Zhou dynasty are called “inscriptions on gold.” The characters "snake (it)" and "shu" in these ancient characters are like this:
In summary, for some reason (for example, because snakes can hibernate, the simple ancient Shu people thought that snakes could “resurrect from the dead”), the ancient Shu people had been in 30 years ago, snakes were considered to be a kind of sacred object, and snake-shaped bronze ware and snake-bearer bronze ware became sacred sacrifices Necessities of the ceremony. Even the Shang and Zhou dynasties in the Central Plains knew this characteristic of the ancient Shu people, so they regarded the snake as a symbol of the "Shu" country. It is no wonder that "Shan Hai Jing" depicts the image of many gods, including Nu Wa, with the head of a snake.
The portrait of Fuxi and Nuwa unearthed from the ancient tombs of the Han Dynasty in Xinjin County has the "human head and snake body" in its image and its implied "resurrection from the dead", which is actually the memory of the snake worship of ancient Shu people Remains.
Xinjin portrait continues the memory of ancient Shu
and XinjinThe portraits of Fuxi and Nuwa unearthed from other Han tombs in the Han tombs during the same period have changed in image, as shown in the figure below:
Photo courtesy of the author
These portraits are the largest among the portraits of Xinjin There are three differences: One is that in addition to holding the sun and the moon, Fuxi and Nuwa also hold the rules and the other. "No rules can not form a circle", which symbolizes the rules and systems of the world. The second is to "add more feet to the snake", forcibly turning the "snake body" in the original legend into a nondescript "snake tail". Third, the sun and moon held by Fuxi and Nuwa were replaced with copper coins.
These three differences show that these portraits are no longerLike the Xinjin portrait, it has the thinking and tradition of the ancient Shu people. The well-behaved portrait reflects the change of Confucianism in the Han Dynasty to the original image of Fuxi and Nuwa in ancient Shu. Holding a copper coin in his hand has lost the connotation of the myth of the sun and the moon and the change of yin and yang, and has become the pursuit of money. The addition of the snake's body to the foot shows that the ancient Shu Kingdom with the snake as the totem and other totem tribal countries have warped and merged. After many fusions, the elements of the totem are With the addition of antlers, bull ears and other components, the snake totem eventually became the dragon totem, and the ancient Shu culture became a part of Chinese culture. The snake totem of ancient Shu people embodied in the portrait of Fuxi and Nuwa in Xinjin is the root and origin of the dragon totem of the Chinese nation.
Although the ancient Shu kingdom has disappeared, the excavators and users of the Xinjin Han tombs have always continued the most primitive and true belief memory of the ancient Shu people. The portrait of Fuxi and Nuwa buried in the tomb of the Han Dynasty in Xinjin still tells the unique status and weight of ancient Shu culture in Chinese culture...
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source: Local Records office of Sichuan Province
author: He Yihao
feeds: Local Records office Xinjin County
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