N is for Nung Gwama vs. Woman

We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Finding Resilience & Strength through Traditional Tales.

Nung Gwama –

From China

Nung Gwama has the body of a bull and much bigger than a human. It loves to eat people and crunch bones. It tends to make noises like flip-flop or flop-flosh or when it roamed the world.

The Nung Gwama is one of many mythological beasts that originate from China. Though, these four are considered mythological beasts that link to the four directions and seasons: Azure Dragon, Vermilion Bird, White Tiger, and Black Tortoise. These animals were in an book from the 4th century by Shan Hai Jing.

50-word-or-less summary:

Nung Gwama demanded woman’s cakes. Refused – for parents. Nung Gwama said would eat her later. Vanished! Fear! Peddler offered needles. Man gave bucket of manure. Another gave poisonous snakes. Another gave biting fish. Another gave eggs. Another gave millstone. Another gave iron bar. Combined – woman conquered Nung Gwama.

Finding the Story: 

Book “The Terrible Nung Gwama: A Chinese Folktale” – here

Wikipedia for Leslie Bonnet who has also told Nung Gwama story – here

About Hu Shih, Chinese Leader & Scholar, who also told Nung Gwama story – here

Blog post pondering about Nung Gwama – here

Book “Once Long Ago: Folk & Fairy Tales of the World” – here

Finding Resilience & Strength:

The woman could have given those cakes and not worry about getting them to her parents. Despite a beast threatening, she stood firm despite fear. Strength is really measured by how we stand firm even when afraid.

She still was in trouble. While the community members did not face the Nung Gwama, they did provide the materials and ideas that had constant annoyance to pain to death for that beast.

Yes, 24 needles getting stuck by the doorframe would be no fun. Yes, manure is…stinky. Poisonous snakes and biting fish hidden within water or jars can be a nasty surprise. That millstone though? Wow! What a great but strange gift from a neighbor. And somehow the woman was strong enough to get the millstone hung high enough. The woman also was able to beat the Nung Gwama with an iron bar for what remained after the falling of the millstone.

Was that woman full of strength and resilience? Absolutely! And thank goodness to great neighbors, even if they didn’t stick around when the Nung Gwama came to her home.

Here’s an article from Urban Footprint called “What is Community Resilience and why does it matter?” to explore mental health and strategies.

Please share thoughts in the comments. While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings. See quick list of programs here.

As for our past A to Z Challenges…

While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has been resilient and strong during these past years and looks forward to the next hybrid summit & festival on May 8-11, 2023. We would be honored for you to join us. Explore the schedule and register here: http://www.storycrossroads.org/Festival

Thanks to funding from National Endowment for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; Western States Arts Federation; Utah Division of Arts and Museums/Utah Legislature; Utah Humanities; City of Murray; Zoo, Arts & Parks (ZAP) of Salt Lake County; Salt Lake City Arts Council; Ashton Family Foundation

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Story Crossroads fosters creative and compassionate communities through the art of storytelling. 501(c)(3)

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