World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Gong Gong

Article Id: WHEBN0000725135
Reproduction Date:

Title: Gong Gong  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Chinese mythology, Xiangliu, Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors, Mount Buzhou, Snakes in Chinese mythology
Collection: Chinese Gods, Chinese Mythology, Sea and River Gods
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Gong Gong

Gong Gong (Chinese: 共工; pinyin: Gònggōng), also known as Kanghui, is a Chinese water god or sea monster who is often depicted in Chinese mythology, folktales, and religious stories as having red hair and the tail of a serpent (or dragon).[1] He is often seen as destructive and is blamed for various cosmic catastrophes. In all accounts, Gonggong ends up being killed or sent into exile, usually after losing a struggle with another major deity.

Contents

  • In Literature 1
  • Other stories 2
  • See also 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5

In Literature

Gonggong is known from the late Warring States period (before 221 BCE). Gong Gong appears in the ancient "Heavenly Questions" (Tianwen) poem of the Chu Ci, where he is blamed for knocking the earth's axis off center, causing it to tilt to the southeast and the sky to tilt to the northwest.[2] This axial tilt is used to explain why the rivers of China generally flow to the southeast, especially the Yangzi River and the Yellow River, and why the sun, moon, and stars move towards the northwest. Literature from the Han dynasty becomes much more detailed regarding Gonggong.

Other stories

Gongong was credited in various mythological contexts as being responsible for great floods, often in concert with his associate Xiang Yao (alternately, Xiangliu Chinese: 相繇), who has nine heads and the body of a snake.

In Chinese mythology, Gong Gong was ashamed that he lost the fight with Zhu Rong, the Chinese god of fire, to claim the throne of Heaven. In a fit of rage he smashed his head against Buzhou Mountain (不周山), a pillar holding up the sky, greatly damaging it and causing the sky to tilt towards the northwest and the earth to shift to the southeast, which caused great floods and suffering.

The goddess Nüwa (女媧) cut off the legs of the giant turtle Ao and used them in place of the fallen pillar, ending the floods and suffering; she was, however, unable to fully correct the tilted sky and earth and alter their effects on the sun, moon, stars, and rivers in China.

"Gong Gong" is sometimes translated as Minister of Works (e.g., in the first chapters of the Shangshu). In this attempt at demythologization, he joins other dubious "ministers", such as Long the Dragon.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Yang, 124
  2. ^ Yang, 124

References

  • Yang, Lihui, et al. (2005). Handbook of Chinese Mythology. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-533263-6
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.