Ancient Myths: Nuwa makes men and mends the sky
It is said that there were no men when the sky and the earth were separated. It was Nuwa who made men by moulding yellow clay. NThe work was so taxing that her strength was not equal to it. So she dipped a rope into the mud and then lifted it. The mud that dripped from the rope also became men. Those made by moulding yellow clay were rich and noble, while those made by lifting the rope were poor and low.
In a ancient times, the four corners
of the sky collapsed and the world with its nine regions split open. The sky could not cover all the things under it, nor could the
earth carry all the things on it. A great fire raged and would not
die out; a fierce flood raced about and could not be checked. Savage
beasts devoured innocent people; vicious birds preyed on the weak
Then Nuwa melted rocks of five colours and used them to mend the cracks in the sky. She supported the four corners of the sky with the legs she had cut off from a giant turtle. She killed the black dragon to save the people of J1zhou(1), and blocked the flood with the ashes of reeds.
Thus the sky was mended, its four corners lifted, the flood tamed, Jizhou pacified, and harmful birds and beasts killed, and the innocent people were able to live on the square earth under the dome of the sky. It was a time when birds, beasts, insects and snakes no longer used their claws or teeth or poisonous stings, for they did not want to catch or eat weaker things.
Nuwa's deeds benefited the heavens above and the earth below. Her name was remembered by later generations and her light shone on every creation. Now she was traveling on a thunder-chariot drawn by a two-winged dragon and two green hornless dragons, with auspicious objects in her hands and a special mattress underneath, surrounded by golden clouds, a white dragon leading the way and a flying snake following behind. Floating freely over the clouds, she took ghosts and gods to the ninth heaven and had an audience with the Heavenly Emperor at Lin Men(2) where she rested in peace and dignity under the emperor. She never boasted of her achievements, nor did she try to win any renown; she wanted to conceal her virtues, in line with the ways of the universe.