Paoxiao

Variations: Baoxiao

Mount Gouwu in China has much jade at its peak and much copper at its base. It is the dwelling-place of a beast called the Paoxiao. A Paoxiao looks like a goat with a human face armed with tiger’s teeth. Its eyes are behind its armpits (Wenxuan instead states that its mouth is under one armpit), and it has human hands. It is a man-eater that makes sounds like a baby.

Guo Pu described the paoxiao as exceedingly savage and gluttonous, liable to start biting itself before finishing its human prey. He also equated it with the ornamental taotie, a symbol of gluttony, but this connection is dubious at best.

Mathieu compares the unusual appearance of the Paoxiao with that of an animal delousing itself.

References

Mathieu, R. (1983) Étude sur la mythologie et l’ethnologie de la Chine ancienne. Collège de France, Paris.

Strassberg, R. E. (2002) A Chinese Bestiary: Strange Creatures from the Guideways Through Mountains and Seas. University of California Press.

10 Comments

  1. Well I’m getting a hard-copy of a Chinese Bestiary soon and my girlfriend being a native Chinese speaker who incessantly comments on the poor quality of translations I’ll be sure to let you know of any extra meanings hidden in the subtleties of the Chinese language, lost to us poor, poor Westerners (Westerners in this sense meaning anybody who isn’t Chinese … x) ) Love the design by the way, super sinister, especially the work on the face and lower jaw. Definitely not a creature I’d like to run into … I found an art dump a while back which has fantastic, traditional-style illustrations (well, not really but inspired by a somewhat traditional style) from A Classic of Mountains and Seas, you should check them out if you haven’t come across them already! Can’t find a decent link to the artist but you can check out their work here: https://ebookdynasty.tumblr.com/post/79021559743/creatures-from-ancient-chinese-text-classic-of

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s