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From Frog To Nüwa And Back Again: The Religious Roots Of Creation Myths

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Chapter Summary

The continuity of frog goddess beliefs is reflected in the Neolithic pottery culture in Northwest China. Frog and tadpole were identified with man and spirits. On the basis of those icon narrative materials handed down from ancient times, this paper argues that creation myths about female frog deities in Chinese minority cultures must be connected to frog icons as visual narratives dating back to prehistoric times, each in its own distinct way giving expression to belief in a common mythological system. This paper tries to establish links between the ancient Han texts and the oral tradition of China's ethnic minorities, including as well archaeological objects as a new source of icon narrative in terms of visual anthropology. \The Great Goddess Nüwa finally reconnects with one of her prehistoric animal archetypes which had been discovered thanks to 20th century Chinese archaeology excavations.

Keywords: ancient Han texts; Chinese archaeology excavations; Chinese minority cultures; creation myths; frog goddess beliefs; Great Goddess Nüwa; religious roots



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