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Art of the Day: Tuesday September 21, 2010

Xi He: Goddess of Light

- by john christopher borrero

This week's theme: You Cant Please All of the People All of the Time...

But we can try. With the variety of art and artists here at EBSQ, this week's Art of the Day is sure to have something to suit most every taste.

Art: Xi He: Goddess of Light  by Artist john christopher borrero
XI-HE: Goddess of Light and Mother of the Ten Suns.

Dating back to the 12th century BC, Chinese mythology is a collection of cultural history, folktales, and religious stories that have been passed down in oral or written tradition. There are many mythical stories to represent ancient people's early understanding of the origin of the earth and natural phenomena. The story of the goddess Xi He is one such myth.

In Chinese mythology, Xi He is a sun goddess. The wife of Emperor Jun, she was the mother of ten suns, which took the form of birds so bright that when they flew, they illuminated the entire sky. Each day, Xi He would take one of the sun birds around the world on her chariot and in doing so, would bring light and heat to the world. Folklore says that, in around 2170 BC, all ten sun birds became bored with waiting and took to the sky to all fly together on the same day, causing the world to burn. This was a time of great tragedy and drought in China.

In the meantime, events were transpiring in heaven which would have an impact on Xi He and her sons,

Yi was a great archer who was originally a god in the heaven. When the Emperor of the Heaven saw there were frequent catastrophes on the earth and living was difficult for the people, he sent Yi down to the human world to fight the evil and protect the good. On the day that he descended to Earth, there were ten suns in the sky. It was extremely hot and the plants withered and died. People were going hungry. In an attempt to help civilization to survive, Yi drew out his bow and arrows and shot nine of the sun birds out of the sky, leaving just one bird to illuminate the sky, and relieving mankind of its drought and heat.

And so it remains today, that there is just one remaining sun who makes his way across the sky with his mother guiding his path in her chariot, in silent remembrance of his brothers who were lost to the skies so long ago.

Detail Images

Detail Image for art Xi He: Goddess of Light

Detail Image for art Xi He: Goddess of Light


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