The first part of the Mythical Period was under the rule of the Three Sovereigns, magical demigods who created the human race out of clay and introduced agriculture.
Describe the rulers of the first part of the Mythical Period, the Three Sovereigns
The first period when prehistoric China was under unified rule is called the Mythical Period because most of what we know about it is from Chinese legend—we cannot tell how much of it is true and how much is fiction.
The first part of the Mythical Period was under the rule of the Three Sovereigns, who were magical demigods: Fuxi, Nüwa, and Shennong.
Fuxi and Nüwa are sometimes described as husband and wife and sometimes as brother and sister. According to Chinese legend, they created the human race out of clay and introduced the domestication and hunting of animals.
Shennong, whose name means "divine farmer," introduced agriculture, the use of medicinal plants, and acupuncture.
The operation of causing water to flow over lands, for nourishing plants.
According to legend, Chinese history began with a succession of three half-animal, half-human rulers. These Three Sovereigns—Fuxi, Nüwa, and Shennong—are credited with contributing to the early people's lifestyles in various ways. Sometimes known as the Three August Ones, they were said to be god-kings or demigods who used their magical powers to improve the lives of their people. Because of their virtue, they lived to a great age and ruled over a period of great peace.
Fuxi and Nüwa
There are many writings about Fuxi and Nüwa, many of which characterize them and their legacies differently. Some sources say that Fuxi and Nüwa were husband as wife while others say they were siblings.
In legend, Fuxi and Nüwa were together responsible for the procreation of the human race. They used clay to create human figures, and with their divine power made the clay figures come alive. Fuxi then came to rule over his descendants, from 2852-2737 BCE (or 2952-2836 BCE, according to other sources). During his reign he introduced the domestication of animals and founded the basic social structure of family life. He is also said to have invented writing, fishing, and trapping.
Shennong, literally "divine farmer," taught agriculture to the settled peoples. He is credited with the invention of various agricultural innovations, such as the hoe, plow, and axe; digging wells; irrigation techniques; and techniques of seed preservation. He is also given credit for the use of medicinal plants and acupuncture.
Shennong is still considered the patron deity of farmers, rice traders, and practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine. Many temples and other places dedicated to his commemoration exist today.