Wednesday, October 22, 2008

spirit guard

this fierce dude is standing just inside the doorway of a small mazu temple in an old settlement not far from my in-law's house. Mazu is a goddess worshipped on the south china coast especially by seafarers. she was originally a mere mortal, many centuries ago, who stood on the shore with a light after her father and brother were lost at sea. these guards are used in processions during ghost month; men hoist them on their shoulders and walk with them, the long arms swinging imposingly. the carrier looks out through a small opening in the belly.

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