Chinese Flood

Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

Like most cultures the Chinese have their flood myth. The great flood was sent by the high god Tiandi (Sky-Earth) during the reign of Yao (See Chinese Emperors). As is usually the case with such floods, the cause was the general wickedness of the human race. The single advocate for the human race, which was now stranded on mountain tops plagued by wild beasts, was the demiurge Gun. Gun unsuccessfully pleaded the human case with Tiandi and finally decided, Prometheus-like, to do something on his own. Gun's de facto second creation contains aspects of the earth-diver motif (see Earth-Diver Creation) that is common in Central Asia and North America. He tells an owl and a tortoise that Tiandi has magical earth substance that could be used to stem the flood. After managing to steal some of the material, Gun dropped it into the waters, where it became land. Although the people were happy, Tiandi was not, and he sent the fire god Zhurong to kill Gun and to retrieve the magic soil. The flood returned, but Gun's body, guarded by his followers, regained life. Tiandi had Gun's body cut by a sword. But out of the incision came Gun's son, the great dragon Yu, who stemmed the flood (see Yu). Gun himself became a yellow dragon and lived at the bottom of the waters.

Subjects: Religion.

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.