Wen Qimei

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Wen Qimei
Wen Qimei.jpg
Born 12 February 1867
Died 5 October 1919(1919-10-05) (aged 52)
Shaoshan, Hunan Province
Occupation Farm labourer
Spouse(s) Mao Yichang
Children Mao Zedong

Wen Qimei (12 February 1867 – 5 October 1919) was a Chinese woman who achieved notability as the mother of political leader and revolutionary Mao Zedong. Together with her husband, the farmer Mao Yichang, she lived in a rural village in Shaoshan, Hunan Province.

Early life[edit]

She was betrothed to Mao Yichang when she was thirteen and he was ten; their wedding took place five years later.[1]

Raising Mao Zedong[edit]

After the birth of Mao Zedong, his parents were presented with a rooster, as was the local custom.[2] Wen was concerned for her baby's health, having had two sons previously die in infancy. She took the baby to see a Buddhist monk who was living in the mountains, and asked her to take care of him. The nun refused, believing that baby Zedong appeared healthy.[2] From there, she traveled to her father's house in a neighbouring district, along the way stopping at a temple devoted to the bodhisattva Guan Yin, where she prayed that the deity would become Zedong's foster mother.[2]