Five Civilized Peoples

‘With the planting of the momo tree, the Benign Jade Empress declared the Middle Kingdom complete. Gazing upon the world from her Celestial Throne, she summoned her court and proclaimed, “This world we made needs those who may view and appreciate it, and by Our guidance tend and maintain it.” All the court immediately went to work creating Peoples to inhabit their new world. Fang Do, dark lord from beyond the Inky Sea brought forth his bitumen and created the Phantom People. Mao Pang, Mistress of the Forests, took some bamboo and created the Bamboo People, while He Hwang, court jester, took up some dung and created fur covered people who merely played and frolicked in the new world. The Jade Empress, while amused, decreed them not quite fit to tend the world and made them monkeys. Many others made their own Peoples which the Jade Empress placed about the world, but the finest were made by the four seasons.’

‘Li Yuan, Mistress of Spring, ground rice into a fine flour and made a couple out of rice dough carefully baked to a golden brown. Tai Seong, Mistress of Autumn, grew a large apple and splitting it, carved from it a couple of fine proportions and a pale yellow hue. Dan Tzu, Lord of Winter, fashioned a pair cold worked from copper nuggets dark hued and short of stature. Chang Wei, Lord of Summer, carved a pair from the rosewood tree, tall and nobly born. The Peoples of the Seasons so impressed and inspired the Jade Empress that she was moved to gather some of the fine white kaolin clay, and from it fashioned her own People of smooth white porcelain. These She set below her in the Middle Kingdom.’

‘The copper Folk of Dan Tzu She set to the north, giving them the bow and axe and naming them the Bao Han for the bull. She charged them with tending the northern pine forests and guarding the north. Tai Seong’s People She placed to the west, named the Bao Xia for the tortoise and gave them the sigils and knowledge of the arcane, to guard against the dead in the western Inky Sea. Chang Wei’s rosewood People She named the Bao Chu for the fierce tiger and placed them in the thick jungles of the south with the Bamboo People. To the Bao Chu she gave the blowgun and digging stick to hunt and farm the jungle. Li Yuan’s rice People were called the Bao Lung for the otter, and placed in the eastern river deltas where the rice grew thick and heavy. To them She gave the hoe and sickle so that they may cultivate grains of all sorts, but especially rice. And finally, Her own porcelain People She named the Bao Kwang for the bee, gifted them with writing and knowledge of building and charged them with teaching and guiding the rest that together they may build a kingdom reflecting that of the Upper Kingdom. She placed Her People in the center that the light of their civilization might shine equally upon the remaining four.’

Thus is the legend regarding the origins of the Five Civilized Peoples. It has been argued that all others are Chaing, or Barbarians, though the Peoples of Tsaanpwair show signs of civilization, as do the distant Da’chien and of Doma beyond the Shang Mountains.

Humbly submitted by Xiyang

Of course, this is the story of creation as told by the Porcelain People. If you ask anyone else whether they believe the Porcelain People are the pinnacle of creation, allowing the light of their civilization to shine upon the rest of the world, they’ll likely laugh in your face. – Shodo

Referenced by Door

( Apple Folk Mechanics, Common Folk Mechanics, Copper Folk Mechanics, Porcelain Folk Mechanics, Rice Folk Mechanics, Rosewood Folk Mechanics )

Five Civilized Peoples

The Book of Eight Sages Lithorne