Nu Wa (also spelled Nu Gua or Nu Kua) is the ancient Chinese creator goddess. She’s usually depicted with a dragon body—sort of like a mermaid, but with awesome powers over the universe. Nu Wa spent seven days creating the animals, beginning with chickens (!) and ending with humans. (Day one: chickens. Day two: dogs. Day three: sheep. Day four: pigs. Day five: cows. Day six: horses. Day seven: humans.) Our costume illustration shows two views of the goddess. The image on the right is from an ancient tomb painting; it shows Nu Wa (holding a bow compass) entwined with her mate, Fu Xi (holding a carpenter’s square). Very, um, snaky. We’re going with the image on the left. Though we love the drafting tools.

Our goal here is to approximate a Tang Dynasty silhouette: sleeveless underdress, wide-sleeved robe, and a wide belt cinching it all at the waist. The pieces we suggest, from left to right:

1. A mermaid dress! This one is really pretty. It looks like scales—very dragony—but in a nice way. Notice the smocking across the middle? That’s exactly where your belt will go, just above the dripping pearl thing.
2. Green dragon robe. Wear this over the dress, making sure to keep it pulled open at the front so the nice mermaid costume will show. The belt (#3) will hold everything in position.
3. White cinch belt. This goes over the robe and holds everything in place.
4. A tiara with streamers.
5. Bow compass. You can draw circles for people. You can also scare the living daylights out of people if you wave this thing around at a party.

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Other costumes in this category: Goddesses and Legends