Chi You as depicted on a tomb relief of the Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE)

Wang Chi You (蚩尤) (Hmong=Vaj Txiv Yawg) was the leader of the ancient Nine Li tribe (九黎) and the first king of his descendants, the Hmong people. He wears a metal mask to make his enemies fear him, and united twelve feudal states. Chiyou is best known for fighting against the then-future Yellow Emperor during the Three Sovereigns and Five Emperors era in Chinese mythology. Chiyou is regarded as the White Dragon (Bai Long), meanwhile Huangdi and Yandi are referenced as the Yellow Dragon and Red Dragon. Today, Chiyou is honored and worshipped as the God of War and one of the three legendary founding fathers of China.



Chiyou was the leader of the Nine Li tribe (Hmong=Cuaj Li Ntuj) and ancestor of all Hmong people. He governs his people through justice; and teaches his people the way of life, such as gardening and making the metal blades of a spear or knife for hunting. Chiyou knowns the constellations and the ancients spells for calling upon the weather. For example, he called upon a fog to surround Huangdi and his soldiers during the Battle of Zhuolu. Whenever there's a drought, Chiyou would call upon the Heavens for rain and it would rain. However, after his death, Chiyou's people would suffer whenever there's a drought. Chiyou's great teaches of life and his way of governing of his people spread throughout the world and different tribes started joining forces with him, totaling 81 tribes under him.


Nine Li tribe | Juili tribe | Cuaj Li Ntuj

Cuaj means nine and Li also means nine, and Cuaj Li means a set of nine within another set of nine to make 81. This refers to the 80 different tribes under Chiyou and his descendants, the Hmong people, totaling 81 tribes. Koreans are one of the 80 tribes, since Chiyou was the 14th (out of 18) head of State of Shinshi (or 'Baedal'), with the Korean form of his name, Jaoji Hwanung of Baedal (Chiyou the Great of Baedalguk). All 81 tribes honors and respects Chiyou, and refers him as their king while Chiyou refers them as his brothers, and for his love for his people and his way of governing through justice. This shows how well-known and respected Chiyou was.

Epic battles

Main article: Battle of Zhuolu

The Yan emperor lead his people eastward of the great plain and saw Chiyou and his people living on a flat plain with good soil. Yandi tried to take over Chiyou's land but lost the fight. Yandi went back to seek help from the Yellow Emperor. Over come with rage, Huangdi didn't think twice about the situation and went to war with Chiyou. This war was called the Battle of Zhuolu and is the second war recorded in Chinese history. Huangdi and Yandi armed their soldiers with clubs and traveled eastward to Zhuolu to fight with Chiyou. Chiyou's soldiers consist of the Nine Li tribe (one general per nine tribes, totaling nine generals) all of whom was armed with metal bladed weapons. Chiyou and the two Chinese emperors fought nine battles within 10 years, with Chiyou having the upper hand; however, in the 10th battle of that year, Chiyou and his 81 tribes took a turn and lost the war. During the 10th battle, Chiyou called upon the Heavens for fog, and soon Huandi and Yandi and their soldiers were surrounded by fog. The battle dragged on for days while both Huangdi and Yandi's side was in danger. Only after Huangdi invented the south-pointing chariot did he find his way out of the battlefield. Chiyou then conjured up a heavy storm and Huangdi called upon the drought demon Nüba (女魃) to blow away the storm and bring droughts to the eastern side of the great plain (now called China). Chiyou tried his best to bring rain to his people while fighting Huangdi and Yandi at the same time. Unfortunately, Chiyou was slain by Yinglong, a dragon sent from Huangdi. Huangdi then chopped Chiyou's body into nine pieces and spread them across the great plain (now called China); and he became the ancestor of all Huaxia Chinese, while the Hmong were forced to live in the mountains and leave their ancient land behind. After Chiyou's death, it is said that it rained blood for some time.

Societal influence

According to the Records of the Grand Historian, Qin Shi Huang worshiped Chiyou as the God of War, and Liu Bang worshiped at Chiyou's shrine before his decisive battle against Xiang Yu. The mythical title God of War was given to Chiyou because the Yellow Emperor and Red Emperor could not defeat Chiyou alone. Altogether, Chiyou won 9 major battles including 80 minor confrontations. On the 10th and final war, both emperors combined their forces and conquered Chiyou.

In one mythical episode, after Chiyou had claimed he could not be conquered,[1] the goddess Nuwa dropped a stone tablet on him from Mount Tai. Chiyou failed to crush the stone, but still managed to escape. From then on, the 5 finger-shaped, inscribed "Tai mountain stone tablets" (泰山石敢當) became a spiritual weapon to ward off evil and disasters.[1][2]

According to notes by the Qing Dynasty painter Luo Ping: "Yellow Emperor ordered his men to have Chiyou beheaded... seeing that Chiyou's head was separated from his body, later sages had his image engraved on sacrificial vessels as a warning to those that would covet power and wealth."[3]

The Tale of Heike mentions a comet "of the type called Chiyou's Banner or Red Breath."[4]


According to the controversial Korean history book Hwandan Gogi, compiled by Uncho Gye Yeon-su in 1911, and later published in 1979, Chiyou was also an ancestor of the Koreans.[5] He is listed there as the 14th (out of 18) head of the State of Shinshi (or 'Baedal'), with the Korean form of his name, Jaoji Hwanung of Baedal. In this account, rather than being killed or defeated in the Battle of Zhuolu, Chiyou is victorious and captures the Chinese Emperor Hwang Di alive, rendering him subject to Shinshi.

A recently published Korean novel, entitled "Chiyou, the King of Heaven" (Chinese: 蚩尤天皇; Korean: 치우천왕기), also claims that Chiyou was an ancestral leader of Koreans in the so-called "old country" (Joo Shin, 주신 in Korean), and that he defeated the Yellow Emperor at the Battle of Zhuolu (탁록, Takrok in Korean).[6] Chongqing University professor Huang Zhongmo (黃中模) has said that this historical novel cannot be taken seriously, and Southwest University historian Zhao Zhenyu (趙振宇) has also rejected the novel's claims.[6]

In popular culture

See also


  1. 1 2 Lee, James. [2006] (2006). James Lee Astrology guide 2006 English edition. World publishing co. ISBN 962-432-503-0. p 318.
  2. Lee, James. [2006] (2006). James Lee Astrology guide 2006 Chinese edition. World publishing co. ISBN 962-432-502-2. p 208-209.
  3. Wangheng Chen; Various (2001). Chinese Bronzes: Ferocious Beauty. Asiapac Books Pte Ltd. pp. 62–63. ISBN 978-981-229-020-5.
  4. The Tales of the Heike. Translated by Burton Watson. Columbia University Press. 2006. p. 38. ISBN 9780231138031.
  6. 1 2 "" 韓國歷史小說認蚩尤為祖. Retrieved on 2010-09-07.


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