Collecting River Stones for Nuwa Picture

Fractal thingy 581

Mythology is so fun! I was looking for something magical to attribute to rainbows and Wikipedia pointed towards the Chinese goddess Nuwa.

Nuwa is a goddess whose exact role seems to vary from one place to another, in particular though there was an interesting tale. Her role was to maintain and protect the Wall of Heaven (I guess the sky?). It was belied that the sky was held up by several pillars and if they gave out, the sky would fall to earth and obliterate everything.

One day two powerful gods got into a fight. One of them was the water god Gong Gong. He started to lose the fight, and decided to smash his head against Mount Buzhou (one of the pillars holding up the sky). Suddenly the sky started tilting to the northwest and the earth tilted to the southeast. This triggered horrific floods, fires and released man eating beasts.

Nüwa responded by cutting of the legs of a giant tortoise and using them as new pillars. Then she collected stones in seven colours to seal a rift in the broken sky. Some stories also mention that she used part of her body to fill a gap in the sky. However her efforts could not repair the titled sky and earth and as a result the sun, moon and stars move to the northwest and rivers flow to the southeast.

It is such a cute story
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