Leizu, Yellow Emperor’s Principal Consort

Leizu, born in Xiling, was regarded as the Mother of Sericulture. It was said that while hunting on the Western Hills, the Yellow Emperor saw her breeding silkworms and getting raw silk under mulberry trees, which he had never seen before. Feeling surprised, he went up slowly and asked Leizu whether she could teach him this technique. Leizu answered: “My parents said that I could teach it only to my husband. Undistinguished in appearance, yet she was stout and skillful. The Yellow Emperor proposed a marriage to her and designated her as Principle Consort. The emperor then asked Leizu to teach people to breed silkworms, reel silk from cocoons and weave brocade. It was only then that people began to wear cloth and silk instead of leaves and hides. In the period of Yuanjia of the Southern Song Dynasty, people got up the Alter of the Gods of Agriculture and worshipped her as the God of Sericulture since.