Nine-headed Bird | Ancient Chinese Culture

Nine-headed Bird


Nine-headed Bird, also called “Jiu Feng” in Chinese, is a monster in Chinese mythology. It is a legendary bird with nine heads and is regarded as one of the earliest forms of the Chinese phoenix. It was worshiped by ancient natives in Hubei Province.

Nine-headed Bird was first mentioned in the ancient literature of Shan Hai Jing. According to historical records, it was viewed as a totem in the kingdom of Chu during the period of 475BC to 221BC since the phoenix was regarded as the preexistence of Zhu Rong, Chu’s ancestry.  However, in the Han Dynasty (202BC~220), it was often described as a monster.

There are many legends about the Nine-headed Bird. One story goes that Nine-headed Bird originally had ten heads. However, its tenth head was shot by people. The bird was so angry and was always looking for the shooter. At that time, all the people were afraid of the bird. It always killed people by absorbing their spirits. Later, people gradually found out its weakness. When it came again, people blew out the lights and let their dogs out. Then the Nine-headed Bird soon flew away.

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