Chinese Goddess

Nuba

Nüba (女魃) is an ancient Chinese goddess known to cause droughts. Fiercely loyal to her father, she defended the Yellow Emperor against rebellion by the gods of wind and rain.

Top Questions

  • What does Nüba look like?

    Nüba is either described as a person wearing green clothes or as being completely naked, and is able to walk as fast as the wind.

  • How is Nüba worshipped?

    Despite being a filial daughter of the Yellow Emperor, Nüba’s propensity to cause drought made her a deity to be driven away by humanity, not welcomed and praised.

Overview

The goddess of the drought in Chinese mythology, Nüba’s (女魃) name is comprised of the word for “woman,” nǚ (女), and a character unique to her name, bá (魃). In ancient times, she was simply referred to as ba (魃), but the nǚ (女) was later added on to indicate her feminine nature.

Attributes

Nüba is described as having the appearance of a normal human being, but with the ability to move and travel at superhuman speeds. In artwork, Nüba is usually shown dressed in green robes or wearing nothing at all. She’s one of the first goddesses to be mentioned in Chinese mythology works like the Classic of Mountains and Seas, or Shanhaijing, and the Classic of Poetry, or Shijing.

Mythology

Nüba is a daughter of Huangdi (黄帝), the Yellow Emperor. She defended him against the rain deity, Yu Shi (雨師), and the wind deity, Feng Popo (風婆婆), during their rebellion against the emperor. Her relationship to earthly beings is less benevolent, however. During ancient times, people would hold ceremonies to drive her out of their towns to end droughts.