Friday, March 14, 2014

History mystery: Chinese Dragon

Chinese Dragons a part of Chinese Culture

Chinese Dragon 1
Dragons deeply rooted in Chinese culture first appeared during the Yin and Shang dynasties and Chinese mythology is rich with its artwork, depictions and tales of dragons which are benevolent, associated with blessing and abundance. The Ancient Chinese Dragon has an important position in the mythology of China which is seen in its literature, poetry, architecture, songs and various aspects of Chinese history. The first dragon appeared to Emperor Fu-his who filled the hole in the sky caused by Kung Kung, the monster and its every movement of waking, sleeping and breathing determined the season and weather, day and night. The Chinese dragon comprises of nine entities namely the head of camel, eyes of a demon, the ears of a cow, horns of a stag, with neck of a snake, its belly of a clam, the claws of an eagle, with the soles of its feet that of a tiger and the 117 scales which cover the body, that of a carp.

Divine Element of Rain 

Chinese Dragon 2
The Chinese dragon has standard four claws while the Imperial dragon has five which helps to identify it above the lesser classes and anyone other than the emperor using the five claws motif had to face death for doing so. Throughout the Chinese history, the dragon was related to the weather and it is believed that some of the worst floods which took place were due to mortals upsetting the dragon and the Chinese dragon Lung was considered as a divine element of rain. Chinese dragons of myth were of the belief that they could make themselves huge as the universe or even miniature like the silkworm with capabilities to rise to the skies during springtime as well as plunge into the waters during autumn time, with the ability to change color and also disappear in a moment.

Symbol of Wisdom and Divine Powers

Chinese Dragon 3
Dragons were also a symbol of the emperor assuring the well being of the people with its wisdom and divine power with many legends bridging the connection between the emperor and the dragon. Some also believed that the emperors were the descendants of the dragons and according to a legend; the Dragon had nine sons each with a strong personality namely Haoxian, a reckless and an adventurous dragon, an image which is found decorating the eaves of palaces. Yazi Valiant whose image is seen on sword hilts and knife hilts, Chiwen Chiwen who prefers to gaze into his appearance and the distance, is carved often on pinnacles, Baxia Baxia, a good swimmer has his image decorating many bridge piers and archways, Pulao Pulao who is fond of roaring, has his figure carved on bells, Bixi Bixi an excellent pack animal with its image appearing on panniers, while Qiuniu Qiuniu who loves music has its figure on the bridge of stringed musical instruments. Suanmi Suanmi who favors smoke and fire, the likeness of which can be seen on legs of incense burners,, Jiaotu Jiaotu who is tight lipped such as a snail or a mussel has his image carved on doors, especially, a popular tourist site in Beijing known as the Nine Dragon Wall in BaiHai Park where the colors of the ceramic tiles in spite of them being ancient, are as brilliant as ever.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.