Tag Archives: Vietnam
AH NHI – The Vietnamese god of fire. The child of the sun goddess, he is often depicted holding a burning golden crow similar to the golden roosters that adorn his mother’s palanquin. In other myths about the fire god this Continue reading
BA CO – “Three girls.” Water goddesses of Quang Hanh Grotto (9 km west of Cam Pha), often called the tunnel grotto.
Long ago three young ladies, in some versions friends, in others sisters, were journeying around Halong Bay. The Quang Hanh Grotto is accessible by boat or on land but the entrance is only visible when the tide is out.
The Ba Co sought shelter from heavy rainfall by entering the grotto when the tide was out. Entranced by the beauty of the grotto they Continue reading
THE TRUNG SISTERS – Trung Trac and her sister Trung Nhi occupy a special place in Vietnamese mythology. If you want a glib or simplistic comparison to approach their story with think of them as an ancient Vietnamese version of Lakshmibai of Jhansi in the history of India or Joan of Arc in Western lore. In the early 40’s C.E. Trung Trac led an uprising against the latest Chinese occupiers withher sister acting in a much smaller capacity according to all accounts but the Trung Sisters are always mentioned as a team and iconography usually depicts them together astride their battle elephant.
Trung Trac’s uprising, consisting largely of former noble families and by all accounts (even on the Chinese side) large numbers of female combatants, succeeded in driving the occupying forces far to the north. She then abolished all the Chinese taxes and restored Continue reading
The final chapter of the epic myth A War Between Gods.
For the earlier chapters and more Vietnamese myths click here: https://glitternight.com/vietnamese-myth-2/
Canto VII – For months the conflict lasted in this manner, until finally the period of the year when Thuy Tinh was in charge of shepherding the rain clouds came to an end and one of the sea god Long Vuong’s daughters or granddaughters (accounts vary) began shepherding her clouds in for her designated part of the year. She had no quarrel with Tan Vien or Mi Nuong and so the rains returned to a milder state, allowing the flood waters to subside. Interestingly, that is similar to Native American myths in which hard rains are called “male rains” and soft rains are called “female rains”.
The carnage was incredible, with the remains of buildings and the corpses of land and sea animals who had died in the fighting scattered plentifully about the landscape. In some versions this war between gods brought on the end of mythical creatures like the lans (a mythical tiger/giraffe/saola/ lizard hybrid creature) ,the makaras and the tiger-headed elephants and sometimes others.
The creatures and mythical relics lost in the war varies and is sometimes used as a virtual catch- all for explaining the disappearance of items and beasts. It reminds me of how The Churning of the Ocean in Hindu mythology was at first used simply to explain how the gods produced Soma for their own consumption but then gradually more and more items were added to the list of things spawned by that event including Airavata, the elephant the storm god Indra rides and the love and beauty goddess Lakshmi herself (shades of Aphrodite being born of the sea foam caused by the severed genitals of Chronos. And for my British readers wouldn’t ”The Severed Genitals” make a great name for a pub? Okay, forget it.)
Tan Vien and Chua Con ho helped Hung Vuong XVIII and his people recover from the flood and Tan Vien also taught them ways of trying to safeguard against future deluges. Inevitably, each year, the period when Thuy Tinh would shepherd in the rain clouds he was in charge of returned and his attempt to take Mi Nuong from Tan Vien Mountain by force resumed. Thuy Tinh became known as the god of the monsoon rains and was dreaded because of the harm he might cause on each of his returns. All friendship between him and Tan Vien was forgotten and the two remain bitter enemies to this day.
© 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.
Here is the sixth chapter of the epic myth A War Between Gods, complete with another of my pet theories in comparative mythology. For all the chapters plus Vietnamese gods and goddesses click here: https://glitternight.com/vietnamese-myth-2/
CANTO VI – Thuy Tinh called down the strongest rains and the most furious winds the world had ever seen (but would see many times thereafter). Countless city and country dwellers were drowned in the deluge and rice paddies, dams, residences and estates of the lesser nobles were submerged. Tan Vien and the jungle animals he was the lord of were permtting humans to Continue reading
Here is the fourth part of the Vietnamese epic myth A War Between Gods, plus added entries on myths associated with the reigns of Hung Vuong V and VI. For the other parts of A War Between Gods here is the link: https://glitternight.com/vietnamese-myth-2/
CANTO IV – Hung Vuong XVIII regarded the two remaining competitors for Mi Nuong’s hand with glee. He stated that the only competition that his daughter’s suitors hadn’t been subjected to was a test of raw power. Thuy Tinh demonstrated his power first, summoning the seasonal rains he was the lord of and bringing down such an intense downpour that rivers were quickly in danger of Continue reading
Part 3 of the epic myth A War Between Gods plus I added entries on myths set during the reigns of Hung Vuong III and Hung Vuong IV. For the full epic and entries on other Vietnamese gods Click here: https://glitternight.com/vietnamese-myth-2/
CANTO III – The day eventually arrived when Hung Vuong XVIII offered up Mi Nuong’s hand in marriage. Aristocrats came from as far away as ancient India to compete for the hand of the legendarily beautiful princess. The patriarch of the Thuc family, who plotted to overthrow Hung Vuong XVIII, was among the Continue reading