figure (ritual & belief: representations)

Figure carved from a grotesquely twisted tree root, which has been adapted with little alteration except that the face is painted red. A piece of red paper with inscription pasted on back indicates that it represents the God of Monkeys, whose original name is Sun Wukong, also known as Qitian Dasheng (lit. translated as Great Sage Equal to Heaven). His character is originated from a late 16th century Chinese novel, Xi You Ji (Journey to the West). The story is about a Buddhist monk, Xuanzang's pilgrimage to India in order to bring back a Buddhit sutra to the Tang emperor, Taizong. Xuanzang was accompanied with three disciples and Sun Wukong was one of them. He was the most intelligent, witty and ill-tempered, but he could easily fight off the enemies. The only way Xuanzang could tame him was by placing a magic gold band to his head and made a spell when he was in an uncontrollable state.

Label: red Chuirch Missionary Society label.

Collection Information

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