The Chinese Culture


James Walker
Mr.Johnson E3
December 20, 1996

This report is about the myths and beliefs of the Chinese culture. It\'s about
the stories the Chinese created to explain the world around them, and generally
how they perceived their surrounding environment. This report deals with
ancient myths and the people who believed them, and what the current believes of
these people are.

The Southwest Creation Story

The Southwest creation story is a myth which explains why people are different.
The myth begins by saying that there were people on earth who were all alike,
meaning there weren\'t people who were black, white, oriental, etc.. It states
that the humans on earth all generally were the same. There were also gods who
lived above the clouds in the heavens. And there was a huge heavenly ladder
which started on a mountain and reached all the way up to heaven\'s door. It
goes on to tell a story of a man who had two children. One was a girl and the
other was a boy.

They lived in a house which had a huge very thick roof. The man had built the
roof so thick because it rained almost every day. He hated the rain. He knew
it had its benefits but too much of it ruined his crops, destroyed his livestock
and every time it rained the roof of the house was destroyed. And every time
the man rebuilt it, he made it thicker and thicker. He blamed all his
misfortune on the Duke of Thunder. The Duke of Thunder was one of the gods who
lived in the heavens. He was the god of rain and thunder. The man dispised the
Duke very much and had a pure hatred of him.

Every time it rained the Duke would descend from the heavens and stand on a
hilltop. There he would watch with pure delight as the rains and thunder came
down harder and harder. Finally the man had had enough. One day he took his
axe and waited on the hilltop for the Duke to arrive. When the rains came so did
the Duke, and the man slashed him in the back. The Duke was
hurt but not killed because he was a god. The man caged him and brought him
home. He put him in a corner and warned the kids not to go near him. And to
especially not give him water. The next morning was a beautiful sunny one, but
the Duke looked horrible almost as if he was dehydrating. The man told the
children he had to go to the market and said again not to go near the Duke no
matter what he does and don\'t give him water. After the man left the Duke
started moaning. He begged the children to give him some water but they refused
following their father\'s orders. The Duke pretended he was dead with his mouth
hung open and he had his lips very dry.

The girl was worried, she thought he was dying so she gave him one drop of
water. The Duke instantly jumped back up and tore apart the cage. The
children were terrified. He came over to them and promised them that they
will be rewarded for their deed. He gave them a small egg and told them to
plant it in the ground and then he left. When the man came back he was
shocked by what had happened. He knew the Duke would be very angry and would
punish him. So he didn\'t waste any time and started to build a ship. After
a month\'s time the ship was finished. It was built out of the strongest
material known to him.

Meanwhile the egg the children planted had grown to a size of about two small
people. Then one day what the man had anticipated came. Huge torrential
downpours of rain started and there were tremendous floods. The man jumped into
the ship he built, in his panic he had forgotten about the children. They had
ran into the egg which had become soft. The floods were so great that the man
in his ship reached all the way to the door of the heavens. He banged the doors
and yelled let me in! The gods didn\'t want mortals in the heavens, so the Duke
was ordered to recede the floods. He took the floods back so fast that the man
fell back to the earth and was crushed by his ship.

The children in the soft egg bounced back to the ground safely. When