Here is the 5th chapter of the epic myth A War Between Gods. For the full story plus Vietnamese gods and goddesses click here:

CANTO FIVE – Thuy Tinh had various forms of marine life scour the sea bottom for the items that could be obtained there. Once he had his quota of the objects he treacherously ordered various fish of all sizes to swallow any and all other items like them in order to unfairly prevent Tan Vien from finding any of the sea-related treasures. Next Thuy Tinh journeyed into the jungle on the surface world and began rounding up the land-related objects he needed to complete the list.

For his part Tan Vien had had the animals in the hills and jungles he ruled hunt down each of the land-related treasures he needed and now turned his attentions to trying to find the sub-aquatic items. Days went by with him having no success at locating even one of the objects. Meanwhile, the devoted tiger-god Chua Con Ho, was keeping Tan Vien up to date on the progress Thuy Tinh was making in compiling the inland treasures.

At last Tan Vien realized he had the answer to his problems. He returned to the mountain that bears his name and opened the book that the chief sea god Long Vuong had given him as a reward for saving his son (or grandson) Thuy Tinh’s life. The book’s power was to materialize any object the reader desired and so Tan Vien was quickly able to complete his list of the items he needed. 

Aided by various jungle animals, Tan Vien transported the objects to Hung Vuong XVIII’s palace while Thuy Tinh was still deep in the jungles endeavoring to complete the list. Tan Vien thus won the hand of Princess Mi Nuong and the two were married.

(This element of a book being used as the means of a god winning the hand of a bride puts me in mind of a Hindu myth. The gods Ganesha and Skanda, sons of Shiva and Parvati, the mountain goddess, compete for a bride. The task to be completed in the svayamvara in this case was to walk around the world. Skanda genuinely walked around the globe, which of course took a considerable amount of time.

The crafty Ganesha, often called the Hindu Thoth, simply read a book about the various nations in the world and then went to claim his bride, offering descriptions of the entire world as proof that he had supposedly walked around it. In a “bookless” version of the same myth Ganesha wins the contest by simply walking once in a circle around Shiva and Parvati, since one’s parents are the world)

The wedding ceremony and celebration feasts were held and the newlyweds were safely back at Tan Vien Mountain nearly a full day before Thuy Tinh and his retinue arrived at the palace. When Hung Vuong XVIII informed Thuy Tinh that he was too late, the god flew into a rage and vowed to attack Tan Vien in his mountain home and take Mi Nuong by force.

© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog 2010, and 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Filed under Mythology


  1. Pingback: A WAR BETWEEN GODS: VIETNAMESE EPIC MYTH | Balladeer's Blog

  2. Oh my goodness! an remarkable post dude. Thank you Even so I’m experiencing concern with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody finding identical rss issue? Any one who knows kindly respond.

  3. Pingback: VIETNAMESE MYTHS: A WAR BETWEEN GODS | Balladeer's Blog

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