An Encyclopaedia on Chinese History, Literature and Art

Lei Zu 嫘祖

Jan 23, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald

Lei Zu 嫘祖, also written 雷祖 or 傫祖, was the Goddess of Silk. She was the main consort of the Yellow Emperor (Huang Di 黃帝) and daughter of the Lord of Xiling 西陵.

Lei Zu gave birth to two sons, the oldest of whom was Xuan Ao 玄囂, called Qingyang 青陽, the second Chang Yi 昌意. Xuan Ao lived in the waters of the Yangtze, Chang Yi in the River Ruo 若水 and was married to Chang Pu 昌僕, daughter of the Lord of Shushan 蜀山氏. The latter was the mother of Gaoyang 高陽,Emperor Zhuan Xu 顓頊.

It is said that Lei Zu died on Mt. Hengshan 衡山 during a southern tour and is buried there in a site called Xiancanzhou 先蠶冢 "Tomb of the First Silk Spinner".

Li Jianping 李劍平, ed. (1998). Zhongguo shenhua renwu cidian 中國神話人物辭典 (Xi'an: Shaanxi renmin chubanshe), 654.
Yuan Ke 袁珂, ed. (1985). Zhongguo shenhua chuanshuo cidian 中國神話傳說詞典 (Shanghai: Shanghai cishu chubanshe), 423.