Fu Xi and the Eight Trigrams, 18th century
In Chinese mythology, the figure of Fu Xi is a polymath of sorts: he is teacher of many skills, including hunting and the breeding of silkworms. Additionally, he is said to have originated many ancient Chinese customs, such as divination. Fu Xi is also an inventor; traditionally, he is acknowledged as the creator of the Chinese writing system.
Among Fu Xi’s many inventions was the fishing net. According to the myth, Fu Xi was attempting to catch some fish with his bare hands when he saw a spider’s web. After he observed how the delicate network of threads were able to trap so many insects, he became inspired, and set to work creating a net of his own.
Fu Xi then used his new invention to catch many fish. He also taught the use of the fishing net to his descendants, ensuring that the tradition would carry on after his death.
Image: Wikimedia Commons
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