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Pan-gu

by Micha F. Lindemans
The primordial Chinese giant who was born as a dwarf from the cosmic egg. The upper part of the egg formed the Heaven (Yang) and the lower part formed the Earth (Yin). Pan-gu, growing ten feet a day, pushed the egg shells further and further apart. Then, after 13.000 years (other sources state 18,000 years), he himself burst apart. His eyes became the sun and the moon, his head the four sacred mountains, his blood the seas and the rivers, his hair turned into the grasses and trees, his breath became the wind, his sweat turned into rain, and his voice into thunder. The fleas that had been living on his skin became the ancestors of the human race. Different sources describe this transformation in different ways.

A second myth, however, relates that he was born from the five elements, and that he created heaven and earth with a chisel and a hammer. He is depicted by the Taoists as a shaggy primitive being bearing a huge hammer with which he breaks up the primeval rocks.

The name of Pan-gu in traditional Chinese format.
The name of Pan-gu in traditional Chinese format.


Article details:

  • Also known as:
    P'an-ku

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