Xiangliu

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Japanese image of Xiangliu from the Edo Period.

Xiangliu (Chinese: 相柳; pinyin: Xiāngliǔ) or Xiangyou is a nine-headed snake monster encountered in Chinese mythology. According to the Shan Hai Jing, Xiangliu was a minister of Gong Gong. Later Xiangliu was killed by Yu the Great. An oral version of the Xiangliu myth was collected as late from Sichuan as late as 1983, in which Xiangliu is depicted as a nine-headed dragon, responsible for floods and other harm.

Mythology[edit]

A minister of the snake-like water deity Gong Gong, Xiangliu devastated the ecology everywhere he went, leaving nothing but gullies and marshes, devoid of animal life. Eventually, Xiangliu was killed by Yu the Great whose other labors included ending the Great Flood (China) (or else he was killed, according to one modern version, by Nüwa, after being defeated by Zhurong), but so poisonously virulent was the blood of Xiangliu that the soil which it soaked could no longer grow grains. [1]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Yang, 214-215

References[edit]

  • Yang, Lihui, et al. (2005). Handbook of Chinese Mythology. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-533263-6