Pangu and the Creation of the World


In the beginning, there was darkness and chaos. The heavens and the earth were intermingled. Within the darkness was a big crusty egg. The egg cracked and the giant Pangu came into being. The upper part of the egg floated upwards and formed the sky and the lower part sank downwards, to become the earth. Pangu was pleased. But he was afraid that the heavens and the earth might intermingle again, so he placed himself between them. His head held up the sky and his feet firmly upon the earth. Pangu continued to grow, increasing the distance between the heavens and the earth, until they were 30,000 miles apart.

Now exhausted, Pangu fell and died. His body made the world and all its elements. His sweat and blood became rivers and Pangu’s hair became woods. The giant’s body became landscape and mountains, and his breath became wind and clouds. Nu Wo, a fairy, came down to the earth and took some wet clay from the river-bank. She moulded little clay figures into the shapes of men and women. She breathed life into them.

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