Home History & Archaeology Pangu: Mythological Insights into the Chinese language Creation Story

Pangu: Mythological Insights into the Chinese language Creation Story

Pangu: Mythological Insights into the Chinese language Creation Story


Pangu is a distinguished determine in Chinese language creation mythology. To today, the Zhuang individuals sing a conventional music about Pangu creating the heavens and Earth. The origin of the Pangu fable has been a lot debated. Many imagine it originated with Xu Zheng, a Chinese language creator from the third century AD, as he was the primary author identified to report it; some suggest that it originated within the mythologies of the Miao or Yao individuals of southern China, whereas others see a parallel to historical Hindu mythology of creation.

The Beginning and Creation of Pangu: Unraveling the Legendary Genesis of the Universe

Based on the Pangu fable, at first the universe was nothing however chaos, and the heavens and the Earth had been intermingled—an enormous black egg being generally used as an analogy. Pangu was born within this egg and slept for 18,000 years, throughout which period the Yin and Yang balanced as he grew.

When he awoke, he realized he was trapped inside it. He cracked the egg and commenced to push it aside, basically splitting the Yin and Yang. The higher half of the shell grew to become the sky above him, and the decrease half grew to become the earth. The longer he held them aside, the thicker they grew and the taller he grew to become, thus pushing them additional aside—by exactly 10 ft (3.04m) per day.

Right here variations start to alter. Some declare {that a} turtle, a qilin, phoenix, and a dragon assisted him on this job. After one other 18,000 years Pangu died, his physique forming the varied components of the Earth, and the parasites on his physique forming people.

Pangu separated heaven and Earth murals in the Mammon temple, Hohhot city, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, China. (zhang yongxin /Adobe Stock)

Pangu separated heaven and Earth murals within the Mammon temple, Hohhot metropolis, Interior Mongolia autonomous area, China. (zhang yongxin /Adobe Inventory)

Pangu’s Function in Human Creation: Goddesses, Clay, and Divine Intervention

One other model states that he shaped the Earth with a chisel and hammer, whereas yet one more model states {that a} goddess who later inhabited the Earth shaped people.

Based on this fable, Pangu was the primary supreme being and the originator of the heavens and the Earth. He’s sometimes depicted as a dwarf—although he was truly a large—coated in hair or bearskin or leaves, with horns mounted atop his head and both a chisel or a hammer or an egg in his hand. Different tales converse of a Pangu as a creature from heaven that had the pinnacle of a canine and the physique of a person and immediately accredits Pangu as the daddy of mankind, whereas one other model claims he molded males from clay.

A portrait of Pangu from Sancai Tuhui. (Public Domain)

A portrait of Pangu from Sancai Tuhui. (Public Area)

The fascinating points of this story are its similarities to different myths. For instance, the cosmic egg is a typical idea that’s indicative of the universe earlier than the Large Bang occurred, scientifically talking. Whereas this may occasionally, at first look, be a really primitive approach of describing such an occasion, one can not assist however discover how very insightful it’s. How did numerous individuals with no obvious know-how or data of the universe, as we fashionable people realize it, so precisely clarify what we now can? Have been they made aware of this information someway?

Helping Pangu: The Function of 4 Legendary Beasts in Creation

One other fascinating facet of the story is likely one of the extra elusive. Some variations of the Pangu creation fable state that the large had assist from 4 legendary beasts. Allow us to take a quick look these beasts one after the other.

First, the turtle: the Chinese language weren’t the one ones to make use of it of their creation fable; numerous world myths, creation and in any other case, embody the turtle for its power and immortality. The qilin, although indigenous to Asian mythology, is claimed to have been dragon-like. After all, dragons are central to Asian mythology—although additionally discovered world-wide—as bearers of knowledge and an emblem of energy, additionally linked to the succession of the early emperors. Lastly, the phoenix has persistently been an emblem of rebirth. How so many cultures separated by 1000’s of miles got here to explain such related occurrences and use the identical symbology has been a topic of a lot intrigue over the centuries.


The story of Pangu’s creation stands as an interesting convergence of cultural narratives, tracing its roots via centuries of mythological interpretation. From the Zhuang individuals’s conventional music to the debated origins recorded by Xu Zheng, Pangu’s fable not solely elucidates the genesis of the universe but additionally prompts reflection on the universality of human storytelling, symbolisms, and the enduring quest for understanding the mysteries of existence.

Prime picture: Pangu – The Chinese language god of creation. AI picture. Supply: Superhero Woozie/Adobe Inventory             

By Beth



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