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How did Huaxia originate? The war between Xia and Dongyi dynasty proved vicissitudes of tribal integration.

A color painting of Hou Yi taking off a suitcase depicting sun

The so-called legend of shooting at sun is a religious rite of tribe. In 1978, tomb of Marquis Yi Zeng was discovered in Suizhou, Hubei Province, and a suitcase depicting Houyi shooting at sun was found in grave. It has an image of "Hou Yi shooting at sun" painted on it. There are two trees in picture. The tallest tree had eleven branches, each branch had a day, and tree had two crows; lower tree had nine branches, each with a day, and on tree were two beasts, Beast with a human face. Combined with description in Shan Hai Jing, tree must be a hibiscus tree. There is a valley between two trees, which may be legendary "Ganyuan" and "Tanggu". A man is standing in a valley, holding a bow and arrows and shooting at birds.

Based on this, some scholars believe that hibiscus tree may be a tree used by ancients to observe celestial phenomena and predict calendar. The ancients observed migratory activities of birds and movement of sun, and changes in cold and heat had a great relationship, therefore, based on these phenomena, they compiled earliest calendar, which was called "Bird Calendar". In ancient times, ancients measured changes in solar conditions by measuring shadows with poles, and Fusang is most likely a tree erected to measure shadows. And "shooting at sun" later turned into a kind of archery competition. Over time, this type of tree, which measures shadow of sun, also became a tribal totem, known as "Ruomu", "Jiangmu", etc., and was even considered a "stairway to heaven."

Many people think that word "Hua" in Huaxia language comes from flowers, but I think that this "Hua" is actually a kind of hibiscus and Zhumu, which are totem symbols of Dongyi people. Ah Xia is code name for Yanhuang tribe, led by Xia family, thus Huaxia is collective name for union of Yanhuang and Dongyi tribes.

During Taikang's time, Yuqiong clan of Dongyi tribe became strong again, and its leader Houyi shot Taikang and captured leader of tribal union again. Hou Yi "represented Xia government because of Xia people", but did not handle state affairs himself and did not enjoy support of tribes. Later, Houyi's subordinate Han Yun killed him. To prevent return of Xiahou family, Han Yun exterminated all of Taikang's descendants.

The Houyi War against Xia Dynasty can be seen as second phase of war between Xia Dynasty and Dongyi. At this stage, Dongyi tribe successfully seized position of tribal union, but since Hou Yi and Han Yun did not exercise benevolent government, they did not receive support of majority of tribes, and rule of Dongyi tribe could not last long. .

3. Changes in relationship between Xia Dynasty and Dongyi

Han Yun's pursuit of Taikang's descendants was ultimately unsuccessful. Taikang's grandson, Shaokang, grew up under protection of other feudal states of Xiahou clan. Shaokang later led Xia Hou clan to defeat Han Yun and restore Xia's power. Thus, hereditary system of Xia Dynasty was indeed established, and it was called "Shaokang Zhongxing" in history. To consolidate power of Xiahou clan, Shaokang held another wave of enfeoffments, among which there was no more than one concubine in Kuaiji. During Spring and Autumn period, state of Yue in south of Yangtze River claimed to be Wuyu, which should be an act of grasping. Mount Kuaiji of Xia Dynasty should not be current Mount Kuaiji.

Since then, Xia dynasty has been at war with Dongyi tribe. During reign of Zhu, Xia dynasty won a great victory in war against Dongyi. The Chronicle of Bamboo Book states: "Bo Zhuzi conquered East China Sea and Wangshou and obtained a fox with nine tails", it can be seen that Xia Dynasty's sphere of influence moved towards sea. During Huai's reign, Dongyi tribe basically surrendered to the Xia dynasty, so "the nine barbarians ruled".

The Sphere of Influence of Xia Dynasty

This is third stage of war between Xia Dynasty and Dongyi. At this stage, Xia dynasty won final victory, and Dongyi tribe became part of Xia dynasty. After a long war, Dongyi's status also underwent a huge change. Before establishment of Xia Dynasty, Dongyi and Yanhuang tribes were in a relationship of tribal unions, which after a long war were transformed into a relationship of subordination. Of course, establishment of Xia dynasty inevitably requires subjugation of other tribes, and this is main feature of country.

However, decline of Xia dynasty also has a certain connection with Dongyi tribe. Due to long development of Xia Dynasty against Dongyi, Dongyi tribe was dissatisfied, so Dongyi tribes secretly accumulated strength and prepared for revenge. At end of Xia Dynasty, Dongyi tribe joined forces with Shang tribe from northeast and launched a counterattack against Xia dynasty. The Chronicle of Bamboo Book says: "Yinjia ascended throne, lived in Xihe, and there were villains who came out ten days later." It can be seen that Dongyi tribe at that time became strong again. The Xia dynasty was eventually destroyed by Shang dynasty, which ruled for a total of 471 years.

The Late Shang Dynasty mainly established its capital in central Dongyi. With support of Dongyi, Shang dynasty continued to strike back at Xiqiang tribe. At that time, Zhou people of Western Qiang family (a tribe formed by intermarriage of Yellow Emperor and Yan Emperor) left their original residence and fled west among Rong and Di to avoid Shang Dynasty. . Among captives of Shang Dynasty, Qiang people were most numerous, and Qiang became almost synonymous with slaves. As Jie, last king of Xia Dynasty, fled to his nest in south, Shang Dynasty also launched a large-scale war against various ministries in south, pushing their sphere of influence to Jianghuai region.

Qiang's character evolution into Jiang

Later, rise of Zhou people caused descendants of Yan and Huang to retreat to Central Plains, defeat Shang Dynasty, and finally rule Central Plains. This is return of Xia people. Therefore, after King Wu of Zhou returned to Luoyang, he remembered that Xia Dynasty established its capital here, so he also wanted to build his capital here, "Home in China", and finally realized this goal during reign of Duke of Zhou . All vassal states that belonged to Western Zhou dynasty called themselves "Xia", and collectively they were called "Zhuxia". Under Western Zhou Dynasty, Dongyi and Yanhuang merged at an accelerated pace and finally united to form Huaxia tribe. Far away on Shandong peninsula, there are many Dongyi tribes who did not integrate into China until end of Spring and Autumn period.

Summarizing, we can say that there was a long confrontation between Dongyi and Xiqiang groups in Yellow River basin in ancient China. The two groups finally merged into one through several large-scale merger wars and became Huaxia clan. This case also shows that history of ancient China is a history of wars and a history of national integration.

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