Shui-mu Niang-niang

April 23rd, 2008 by sabrina

Shui-mu Niang-niang is the Chinese Goddess of water, also known as the Old Mother of the Waters. The floods that she caused every year led the Lord of the Skies, Yu Huang, to send troops to capture her. She routinely avoided them, until one day she went too far. Shui-mu Niang-niang carried two magical buckets, which contained the sources of the five great lakes, enough water to flood all of China. One of her pursuers brought a donkey to drink the water from the buckets, but it could not drink it all, and left some water behind. Shui-mu Niang-niang, realizing that this was yet another attempt to capture her, knocked over one of the buckets with her foot, flooding the nearby town of Ssu-Chou with what is now the Lake of Hung-tsĂȘ.

Guan Yin herself stepped in at this point. Disguised as a noodle-seller, she sold a bowl of noodles to Shui-mu Niang-niang, who was hungry and tired after being chased. When she had eaten half the noodles, they turned into iron chains in her stomach and wrapped around her intestines. The end of the chain came out of her mouth and attached itself to the noodles in the bowl, which also turned to chains. Guan Yin had Shui-mu Niang-niang taken away to a deep well and fastened by her chains to the bottom. The people say that, when the water of the well is low enough, the end of her chain can be seen.

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