Wen Qimei

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Wen Qimei
Wen Qimei.jpg
Born 12 February 1867
Died 5 October 1919(1919-10-05) (aged 52)
Shaoshan, Hunan Province
Occupation Farm labourer
Spouse(s) Mao Yichang
Children Mao Zedong
Mao Zemin
Mao Zetan
Mao Zejian (adopted)

Early life

Qimei was born in 1867 in the town of Jincheng on the Kinmen islands. Her father, Wen Qifu, was a poor shoemaker who was a heavy drinker. Her mother was a 14 year old concubine of Qifu's when Qimei was born. She had met Qifu when she was Qifu's bathing maid. Qimei was a tall girl with gorgeous black hair and big brown eyes as well as huge breasts. She attended the local Buddhist nunnery for education until she was 14 because her father would beat her mother so she fled with her mother to Shaoshan. There, Qimei's mother remarried to a 60 year old landowner, which was quite unusual in China at that time. Qimei attended a Baptist school there and passed with Honours. At the age of 17, her stepfather arranged her marriage to a 14 year old boy called Mao Yichang who came from a long line of wealthy farmers. Qimei had a son 3 years later after two miscarriages and she named him Mao Zedong.

Raising Mao Zedong

After the birth of Mao Zedong, his parents were presented with a rooster, as was the local custom.[1] Wen was concerned for her baby's health, having had two sons previously die in infancy. She took the baby to see a Buddhist monk who was living in the mountains, and asked her to take care of him. The nun refused, believing that baby Zedong appeared healthy.[1] From there, she traveled to her father's house in a neighbouring district, along the way stopping at a temple devoted to the bodhisattva Guan Yin, where she prayed that the deity would become Zedong's foster mother.[1]




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