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Chinese Mythology - Sunü 素女, the Pure Girl

Periods of Chinese History
Sunü 素女, the "Pure Girl", lived, according to the book Shanhaijing 山海經, in the region of Guangdu 廣都 (or Duguang 都廣, corresponding to Shuangliu 雙流 near Chengdu 成都, Sichuan), near the tomb of Hou Ji 后稷, the Lord of Millet. The genealogy Shiben 世本 says that the mythical emperor Fu Xi 伏羲 had once created the zither (se 瑟 or qin 琴). The Yellow Emperor 黃帝 sent the Pure Girl to play the zither, yet she was not able to master the fifty-string instrument and therefore divided it into two parts, each with twenty-five strings. At least she was able to play this new instrument in an extraordinary way, as the book Guqin shu 古琴疏, quoted in the collection Shuofu 說郛, says. There is a Jade Girl Cave 玉女洞 near Chengdu that is dedicated to the remembrance of the Pure Girl.

Source: Yuan Ke 袁珂 (ed. 1985), Zhongguo shenhua chuanshuo cidian 中國神話傳說詞典 (Shanghai: Shanghai cishu chubanshe), p. 310.

August 15, 2012 © Ulrich Theobald · Mail
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