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Fu Xi

by Micha F. Lindemans
The first of three noble emperors, the San-huang, in Chinese mythology. According to tradition he ruled from 2952 to 2836 BCE (116 years) or from 2852 to 2737 BCE (115 years). Fu Xi taught mankind many arts, such as the use of fishing nets, the breeding of silk worms, and the taming of wild animals. He also invented music, and, most importantly, the eight tigrams (Pakua), said to be the basis of Chinese writing. Also attributed to him is the invention of casting oracles by the use of yarrow stalks. Furthermore, Fu Xi is said to have invented the one hundred Chinese family names and decreed that marriages may only take place between persons bearing different family names.

Fu Xi is represented as a human being with the body of a snake. His wife is Nü-gua. In Taoist temples he is usually portrayed holding a panel on which the eight tigrams are inscribed.

The name of Fu Xi in traditional Chinese format.
The name of Fu Xi in traditional Chinese format.

Article details:

  • Also known as:
    Fu Hsi

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