The image of the Chinese dragon, an animal of legend, originated from totem poles. Legend has it that many tribes settled along the Yellow River about 4,000 years ago, each having its own totem bearing the images of snakes, tigers, oxen, horses, tigers or deer. Huangdi conquered the other tribes and established a tribal union.
From the other tribes' totems, Huangdi fashioned the image of what has come to be known as a dragon. This strange creature had the horns of a deer, the head of a camel, the eyes of a rabbit, the neck of a snake, a clam's belly, the scales of a fish, an eagle's claws, tiger's paws and an ox's ears. The dragon became a symbol of Huangdi's power.
Over the years, the dragon grew to be regarded as the symbol of the Chinese nation, of holiness, auspiciousness and good luck.