During the month of April 2017 in the A to Z Blog Challenge, I will tell a story a day, either a folktale, faerytale, legend, myth, or a cautionary tale that fits my AtoZ theme –> Asian Stories with the attribute for each story I told at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum. Each full story will be on my Wattpad.com site.
The stories in ‘Dragons Shaped China’ are from my days of telling stories at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. These traditional stories were to present a brief, quick summary of the ancient history of the China by using Dragon, and rulers did to control China.
© These versions of stories for ‘Dragons Shaped China’ is mine. Please respect and honor of Chinese folktales, legends, and myth when using – always give credit to the resources, which are at the end. As all excellent storytellers do –I have adapted, fabricated, modified, elaborated, and enhanced the stories. READ and enjoy!
AMBITIOUS —> Dragons Shaped China. These stories I told at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco to present a brief, quick summary of the ancient history of the China I have as all storytellers do – adapted, modified, elaborated, and enhanced the stories. READ and enjoy!
BOUNDLESS –> Before there was anything, there was Yin and Yang in chaos circling in the sky of the might Milky Way. P’angu, the First Dragon came from the comic egg and as he grew he dreamed creating the Dragons, the Phoenix, the Unicorn and the Tortoise. He left us China; today we are part of his world.
The Chinese have told stories about dragons for thousands of years. There are the heavenly celestial Dragons, the dragons of the sky, the earth dragons of the rivers, lakes, mountains, and the court dragons of the Emperor. Chinese Dragons fly without wings, don’t breath fire, control the weather, change shapes, die and are reborn. When Dragon bones are found in lakes, rivers or on mountains they are power medicines.
CHERISH –> The First Dragon, P’angu, died after creating China. He left the Dragons, the Phoenix, the Unicorn, and the Tortoise, who tells the people P’angu’s dreams. P’angu friends, the White Jade Dragon and the Golden Phoenix, stayed in the Milky Way and created a magic Pearl, which the Queen Mother of the West stole for a 3000-year birthday party.
Asian Stories – Dragons Shape China – Dragon and Phoenix
ENABLING –> The villages had great respect and honor for sky dragons and the rains they created.
This summer, when the villagers worked in their fields of rice, dark clouds covered the sun. A cold wind blew hard and fast. The trees bent. A fog thickened and surround everything. Then a loud thump on the ground a Dragon from the Sky fell.
Festive –> Mei Ling lived in a village that was poor. Rain never came. Grandma said the villagers were afraid of the dragon that lived on the mountain. Mei Ling invites the mountain dragon to a New Years Party. The Dragon became a welcome visitor and of good luck and prosperity, The New Years Dragon. Since then the dragon brings in the New Year. The farmers, fishermen, and merchants honored the Dragons, who gave rivers and lakes and rain for their crops and fish to eat which created prosperity, good fortune, and health.
Asian Stories – Dragons Shape China, Mai Ling and the New Year Dragon
Generous –> When the Silk Road opened, trade brought beliefs, warriors, and conquerors into China because the Emperors at that time were many and bidding war against each other. With the start of the Chin Dynasty about 220, heroes helped displace these worms and serpents who threatened the protective wise Dragons. LI CHI, the Serpent SLAYER is such a heroine who helped start the Golden Dynasty with the Golden Dragons, who gain control of China’s prosperity and harmony lasted for generations.
HONORABLE –> Dragons had magic, power, good fortune, abundance, and gave wisdom; now men can be Court Dragons for the Golden Emperors, who are related to the Dragons. A Dragon Scholar, poet Siang Yu, paints beauty with words and images; he completed his training in the three perfections, poetry, art, and calligraphy in the Emperor’s court. Now traveling in China, in the beauty of ancient Taoist garden, Siang Yu creates a lasting love with a pink peony, a young maiden.
Asian Stories – Dragons Shape China, The Poet and the Peony
INCISIVE –> A youth, LiAnge lived the mountains. His family killed by the many wars that cross China. He gathered sticks from the woods to sell to the villagers for his food. He longed to become a scholar, to be a court dragon, who learns the three academic skills: painting, poetry, and calligraphy. For his passion, the Queen Mother of the West, the mother or P’angu. gives LiAnge a magic brush to paint ‘for the good of the people’. Using his paintbrush giving fortune and abundance, LiAnge crosses path with a possessive, greedy Emperor.
JUDGEMENT –> Because the people believed in Dragon had power over the RAINS and their crops, men came to guards of the rivers or lakes for the people, who became more prosperous. These Lords were given part of the crops for protection from other invading Lords. These Lords becoming wealthy, evading and saving more farmers, creating small Dynasties.
Dragons, who control the weather, were honored and respected because they changed dryness and scarcity into richness and prosperity by keeping rain falling. Thus from 200AD to 1700AD, the Golden Emperors declared themselves Dragons of the Golden Dynasty. No one allowed to speak the word dragon, expect the royalty. The Dragon Keeper, the Emperors were in total control. Alas, an Emperor and his court dishonored the Celestial Dragons. They dined on two mythical dragons causing great disrespect and dishonor to all Celestial Dragons, who became angry. Droughts came because earthy Emperors mandated they controlled the weather and natural happening of the earth. The people starved. After long droughts and many hardships, the people revolted, which lasted for two hundred years.
In 1911, the new government of China declared all the peoples of China had the status of the Dragon; all peoples worked hard to protect the forests, lakes, rivers, and mountains so everyone prospered.
In 1948, the Dynasty changed shape again. Still, the Dragon lives within peoples who honored and respected the mighty Dragons since the very beginning of time.
Bibliography: Dragons Shape China
The Enchanted World: Dragons, ‘The Cosmic Division of Labor,’ editors of Time Life Books, May 1984, ISBN:0809452081, 149 pages. (Describes types of dragons the world.)
Behold… the Dragon, Gail Gibbons, author and illustrator, Harper Collins, 1999, 32 pages. (Drawings and information of different dragons through time.)
Myths and Legends of China, E.T.C. Werner, Dover Publications, 1994, first edition, George G. Harrap & Co., London, 1922, 454 pages. (One exceptional source, in-depth tellings, good detail histories.)
Made in China, Ideas and Inventions from Ancient China, Suzanne Williams, illustration selected Andrea Fong, Pacific View Press, Berkeley, CA, 1996, 48 pages.
Dictionary of Chinese Symbols: Hidden Symbols in Chinese Life and Thought, Wolfram Eberhard, Talyor and Francis Publishers, 1986, 2005 and 2015, 400 + symbols, 384 pages. (“The late Wolfram Eberhard, a former instructor at Peking National University, unfolds the story behind over 400 Chinese characters giving the reader a vivid insight to Chinese life and thought.” review)
The Wisdom of China and India, ‘Part two: The Wisdom of China’, edited by Lin Yutang, 9th edition, Random House, New York, 1942, pages 567-1104. (One great, outstanding wealth of history and stories.)
****© Asian Art Museum of San Francisco Storytelling Manual for CHINA, prepared by the Asian Art Museum Storytelling and Education Department, San Francisco, CA, Helen Mary Stein, 1998, Revised 2002 – not to be published only for educational usage. (‘The Dragon Chart’ is from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, “Family Activities Guide, CHINA: 5,000 Years.) (I told Chinese stories in the Chinese Galleries of 12 years, 2000 to 2012.)
Understanding Asian Culture Through Art, Dr. Robert Kohls, art historian, May 5, 2003, Osher Gallery, Asian Art Museum
Customs of China, Thinking Through Clothes, Poala Zamperin, March 21, 2003, Osher Gallery, Asian Art Museum.
Chinese Myths and Legends, ‘Chinese Dynasties,’ p.11, ‘Pan Gu and the Creation of the Universe,’ pp. 14-16, and ‘The Dragon’s Pearl,’ pp. 111-114, O.B. Duane and N. Hutchison, 1998, Brockhampton Press, first edition, pages 128.
Westlake, A Collection of Folktales, ‘The Bright Pearl’, ‘Mei Lang and the Dragon,’ by Cheng Shifa (Author), Yvonne Walls (Illustrator), Jan Walls (Translator), Chinese to English, published in Hong Kong, on Amazon, 1986, pages 189.
Dragon, Gods, & Spirits from Chinese Mythology, ‘The Dragon Pearl’, Tao Tao Liu Sanders, Schocken Books, New York, 1980.
Chinese Folktales, ‘Dragon Pond’, Howard Gishard, McGraw-Hill/Glencoe, pages, 271, 1977. (93 tales written by Chinese students)
Multicultural Fables and Fairy Tales, ‘Mei-Ling and the Dragon’, Tara McCarthy, Scholastic Professional Books, 1993, Grades 1-4, pages 112.
Chinese Myths of Creation, Five Heavenly Emperors, ‘Birth of the Alphabet,’ Song Nan Zhang, Tundra Books, 1994, pages 26.
The Serpent Slayer and Other Stories of Strong Women, ‘The Serpent Slayer,’ retold and written by Katrin Tchana, illustrator Trina Schart Hyman, Little, Brown & CO, 2000.
Chinese Fairy & Folktales, ‘Li Chi Slay the Serpent,’ Translated and edited by Moss Rabitz.
The Moon Maiden and Other Tales, ‘Li Chi Slays the Serpent,’ Hua Lony, China Books, San Francisco, 1993, p, 30.
Sweet and Sour, ‘The Serpent Slayer,’ retold by Carol Kendal, Carol and Li, Yao-Wen, illustrator Shirley Felts, Clarion Books, New York, 1978 re-issued in 2007, pages 33-38.
A Time of Golden Dragons, Song Nan Zhana, author and illustrator, Hao Yu Zhana, author, 1964, Beijing Son, 1990, Canada, 2000, Tundra Books, 2006.
Mythical Birds and Beast from Many Lands, ‘The Dragon,’ author, Margaret Mayo, Illustrated by Jane Ray, Dutton, 1996, pp. 42 to 54. (The myth of the Dragon Gate about fish who jump the fall to become dragons.)
Liang and the Magic Paintbrush, Demi, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1988.
The Magic Brush, T. T. Mui, Robert B. Goodman, Robert A. Spicer, An Island Heritage Ltd. Book, 1974.
Chinese Fairy Tales Being a Collection of Ancient Legends, ‘Poet and the Peony’, Illustrator Valenti Angelo, Peter Pauper Press, Mount Vernon, New York, Frist Edition 1938, pages 67, illustrator, Sonia Roetter, 1946.
The Dragon Book, ‘The Chinese Dragons’, E. D. Edwards, William Hodgee & Co. London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow, 1938, pp 161 to 164. From Mythical Monsters, ‘The Dragon Keeper,’ Charles Gould’s, Chapter VII p. 255, fable retold by Lu Kevi-Meng, 1886, W. H. Allen & Co, 13 Waterloo Place, SW, page 247. (“Author’s absents in China” and manuscript left his hands. p 11.)
(Check the internet for titles there are so many sources, I wanted the older version with a clean more precise story.) Bobbie Kinkead