Suiren drilled wood to make fire-燧人氏钻木取火

In Chinese myths and legends, the first person to invent artificial fire was Suiren. He uses his wisdom to bring light and warmth to people, so that people can cook and eat food.

Legend has it that there is a Suiming Kingdom in a distant place. A saint was instructed by the gods in heaven to go there to find fire. He traveled over mountains and ridges and went through all kinds of hardships. Only when he arrived did he realize that it was pitch black everywhere and there was no distinction between day and night. Where was the fire? The saint was disappointed and sat down to rest under a big tree. There are several big birds in the tree using their hard beaks to peck at the worms on the tree. Every time they peck, bright sparks will pop out of the tree. These sparks suddenly caught the attention of the sage sitting under the tree. He thought that since a bird pecking at a tree can produce sparks, then I should also produce sparks when I imitate it. So, he immediately broke off a branch from the tree, and then drilled into the tree. After several attempts, there was really smoke coming out of the tree. He continued to drill, and gradually there were sparks. The sage was very happy and spread this method of making fire widely. From then on, people could make their own fires and no longer had to endure the cold and darkness. People were grateful for the saint’s merits, elected him as the leader of the tribe, and called him “Suiren”, which means the one who makes fire.

This myth reflects the evolution of the Chinese people in primitive times from using natural fire to making artificial fire.

Nowadays, fire has long been a common phenomenon for people. Everyone knows that fire can illuminate, heat, and cook food. People have long been able to use it skillfully. In fact, fire has existed in nature long before the emergence of humans. Not to mention volcanic eruptions, thunder and lightning can easily cause forest fires.

In ancient times, people did not know the existence of fire, let alone how to use fire, so they basically ate raw food. They ate the fruits of the plants they collected raw, and even the prey they caught were eaten alive, with hair and blood on them. Raw meat greatly affected their health, so primitive people often fell ill and had a short life span.

Primitive people first recognized fire in thunder and lightning. When the storm came, there was lightning and thunder, and the lightning struck the trees, and the trees burned. The fire became bigger and bigger, and the flames reached the sky. People didn’t know what was going on. They were frightened and hid in various directions. After the storm subsided, they dared to come out slowly. They saw burning trees and the carcasses of wild beasts scorched by the fire. They felt very warm, and at the same time smelled the fragrance of the burned beasts, so they tore off a piece of meat from the burned beasts and put it in their mouths, and found that it was particularly delicious. Only then did they understand the power of fire. function. After discovering the use of fire, they saved the burning branches and used them as kindling to burn food. However, after the branches burn out, they will eventually go out, and people have to face the darkness and cold again. They can only wait for the next thunder and lightning to get fire.

In the primitive ruins in Banpo, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, their houses were semi-burrowed and had no doors. They only had a fire pit at the door of the house. Judging from the location of the firepit, it can be seen that it is not only for heating and lighting, but also to prevent wild beasts from attacking in the middle of the night. It can be seen that the primitive people at this time had realized that wild beasts were afraid of fire, so they could use fire to drive away wild beasts. After mastering this principle, they made good use of fire, using it to defend themselves and to drive away wild animals when hunting. With fire, people no longer have to move around to avoid wild animals and harsh living environments, but can settle somewhere. The use of fire greatly improved the survival ability of primitive people. The emergence of fire solved the two major survival instinct problems of primitive people in terms of food and shelter. Therefore, it was not enough to just rely on making fire from nature. Later, artificial fire became an inevitable need for mankind.

According to the level of understanding and intelligence of primitive people, the process of inventing the method of drilling wood to make fire must have been very difficult.

After realizing the importance of fire, it took a long time for people to accidentally discover that friction can generate heat. Later, someone accidentally used a hard and hard wood to drill into another piece of wood, which can also generate heat. Although drilling wood can generate heat, the ignition point of wood is relatively high, and it is not easy to burn with the hot spots generated by drilling wood. This requires a tinder. However, the right kindling is not so easy to find. To this end, generations of people have been accumulating and exploring. Perhaps someone obsessed with this matter lit a branch by chance, and the first artificial fire was born. However, maybe the people of that era didn’t have names at all, and because it was such a long time ago, people don’t know who was the first person to light an artificial fire. Later, people in history suddenly noticed fire, and thought of the man who invented artificial fire, so they called him “Suiren”.

The Suiren family seems to represent one person, but in fact it represents all the working people who contributed to making artificial fire. Maybe he is a combination of several people, but more likely, he represents a clan.

After the invention of artificial fire, people could use fire to cook food at any time, finally completely getting rid of the life of eating hair and drinking blood, and provided conditions for primitive people to gather. This amazing invention brought human civilization a big step forward.