Marysville, United States

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Oxen, cows, beef cattle, and Buffalo are an important motif in Chinese mythology.

There are many myths about the oxen or ox-like beings, including both celestial and earthly varieties.

The myths range from ones which include oxen or composite beings with ox characteristics as major actors to ones which focus on human or divine actors, in which the role of the oxen are more subsidiary.

In some cases, Chinese myths focus on oxen-related subjects, such as plowing and agriculture or ox-powered carriage.

Another important role for beef cattle is in the religious capacity of sacrificial offerings.

The Chinese language term used for “ox” is rather non-specific.

It can refer to a male, castrate or not, or to a female, young or old, of various species of the bovine family which have been domesticated for use as draft animals, with their strength being harnessed for various purposes,
especially carting loads and various types of farm work, such as plowing.

Niú also can be construed as singular or plural.

However, male cattle used for hard labor are often castrated in order to make them more tractable, as well as providing better quality meat when finally consumed.

In the study of historical Chinese culture and other ethnic cultures in the area of what is now China, many of the stories that have been or are told regarding various characters and events have a double tradition:. The first of which traditions presents a more historical version and a more rationalized account. A second version which usually presents a more mythological and perhaps fantastic account.

This is also true of the accounts involving to mythological bovids.

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