Episode 50: Remote Nations Of The World 2

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Today we will talk more remote nations of the world. In the book Classic of Mountains and Seas 山海经, it mentions a nation called YuMin Guo羽民国, where people there have long heads and feathers all over their bodies. In the book QiShi 启筮, it says the feathered people have beaks like birds, red eyes and white hair. It didn’t actually make it clear that if they have wings or not. However, in the later books, it seems like that everyone assumed the feathered people have wings. In the book TaiPingYuLan 太平御览, it says that the feathered people can’t fly too far and they lay eggs. So I guess they are not even mammels. In the book BoWuZhi 博物志, it mentions that the nation is 40,000 miles from the Mountain JiuYi 九嶷山where those feathered people eat the eggs of Luan Niao 鸾鸟, a mythical holy bird.


People in another nation are like birds as well. It says in the book Classic of Mountains and Seas that in the south of YuMin Guo, the feathered people nation, there is a nation called HuanTou Guo 讙头 国and the people there have human faces but bird beaks to catch fish and they have wings. In the book ShanHaiJingTuZan 山海经图赞, it says the they usually appear near the sea shore and when they walk they use their wings as crutches. Some people say this description is kind of like penguins.


The historian Guo Pu 郭璞 from Jin Dynasty 晋朝 noted the book and said the name of the nation HuanTou sounds the name HuanDou 讙兜, who is the chancellor of Emperor Yao 尧, a legendary Chinese ruler from around 5000 years ago. However, Guan Dou is also said the same person as the oldest son of Emperor Yao named Dan Zhu 丹朱. We will talk about him in the future. But one thing you might be interested is that Emperor Yao is the person who created the game Go in Chinese mythology. And he taught his eldest son Dan Zhu, who became the best Go player in the end. Not sure if he would beat Alpha Go but anyways. Dan Zhu was trained to play Go was due to his personalities that he was vicious and impulsive. He was banished by his dad in his reign because Emperor Yao listened to the words of Shun 舜 who attempted to get the crown himself. Dan Zhu commited suicide in the south sea in the end. That’s why the historian had the assumption those bird people from HuanTou Guo were the off springs of Dan Zhu, the son of Emperor Yao.


山海经 Classic of Mountains and Seas


太平御览 TaiPingYuLan

博物志 BoWuZhi

山海经图赞 ShanHaiJingTuZan

Emperor Yao

讙兜 HuanDou

丹朱 Dan Zhu


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