Gou Mang is said to be the great-great-grandson of Shao Hao (少昊 shǎo hào)1, the great-grandson of Jiao Ji (蟜极 jiǎo jí), grandson of Emperor Ku (帝喾 dì kù), and the son of Emperor Zhi (帝挚 dì zhì). All of which are the direct descendants of the Yellow Emperor (黄帝 huáng dì).
Gou Mang is the God of Wood (木神 mù shén) - one of the Five Elements (五行 wǔ xíng) in accordance with ancient Chinese philosophy - and is in charge of the germination and growth of trees. He is the loyal assistant of his father, Emperor Zhi.
1 One of the Five Direction Gods (五方天帝 wǔ fāng tiān dì). Shao Hao represents the West.
According to Chinese mythology, the Sun rises in Fu Sang (扶桑 fú sāng), where the sacred Fu Sang Tree is located, the place where the ten Suns rest as they take it in turn to journey across the sky in their mother's chariot drawn by six dragons. The sacred Fu Sang Tree and the place the Suns rise is resided over by Gou Mang.
Gou Mang was extremely important in ancient times, he was always an integral part of of Spring Festival celebrations and highly revered by Chinese people.
In the Classic of Mountains and Seas (山海经 shān hǎi jīng), Gou Mang is described as having the body of a bird, the face of a human, and to ride across the sky atop two dragons.