Sanzuwu : The 3-legged crow
The three-legged crow is a symbol of Chinese culture and mythology. It is also mentioned in various myths and is often depicted in ancient Chinese art. The sun is represented by the sanzuwu disc. This ornament is used in ancient China to make formal imperial garments.
The most popular depiction of a sanzuwa is a sun-bird called the Yangwu or the Jinwu. Although it is referred to as a raven or a crow, it is usually coloured red instead of black. In some excavations it is also depicted as a golden crow.
Another popular depiction shows the Queen Mother of the West being surrounded by a trio of dragons, a fox, and a male attendant. She is also surrounded by a leaping frog and a three-legged crow.
Powers and Abilities
The three-legged crow was believed to be the one who draws the Sun out from the clouds. It was said that the sun would be drawn out by the ten sun crows, who would each carry a responsibility to fly out and create a path for the other. The crow’s favourite food consisted of two types of grass only found on earth, thus some of the crows would fly down and eat them, distorting the flight pattern of the sun.
The mother of the ten crows, Xihe, did not like how her children kept distorting the path of the sun. She had blinded them so that they could not fly down and eat their grass. One day, all of them decided to fly out and cause the world to burn. Another god named Houyi, a celestial archer shot down all but one of the crows, thus the world was left with one three legged crow.
Modern Day Influence
The Sanzuwu is quite popular in modern symbolism with artists, brands and football clubs adopting the insignia.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the 3 legged crow symbolise?
The Sanzuwu in Chinese mythology is associated with the Sun and the might archer Hou Yi. The 3 legged crow in other mythologies have other meanings.
What bird is the Sanzuwu?
The sanzuwu is a raven or a crow according to researchers and it has a bad reputation as a harbringer for misfortune.
Who shot down the other Sanzuwus?
Folklore states that 9 sanzuwus were shot down by the famed archer Hou Yi when they started burning the earth by flying too close to it. S
What are the other names of the Sanzuwu?
The Sanzuwu is also known as the Jinwu or Yangwu