Military Door Gods with Battle-Axes 立斧門神 - R.2021-289


Military Door Gods with Battle-Axes 立斧門神

Maker: Yangwanfa
Medium:Woodblock print
Geography: Liangping, Chongqing, China
Period: Nineteenth to mid-twentieth century
81 x 42.5 cm
Object number: 995.160.11.1
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. George Hood
Not on view
DescriptionIn these images of military door gods, one has a white face and the other is black (represented in red). They hold a bronze jian 鐧 and a bamboo-shaped steel bian 鞭 respectively, indicating their identities as Qin Qiong 秦瓊 and Yuchi Gong 尉遲恭.1 Additionally, they each hold a long battle-axe. Thus, they are also called “Military Door Gods with Battle-Axes.” In front of the two door gods, there are five boys, referring to the story of five sons passing civil examinations.2 One boy rides a qilin 麒麟, carries a ruyi 如意 sceptre, and holds a younger child in his arms. Another boy holds a tray full of gold and silver treasures. These elements imply many auspicious messages, such as “may the qilin bring you a son,”3 “pass the civil exam smoothly,” and “promote to higher position and receive more salary.” Most importantly, the print manages to merge the functions of guarding the house and praying for wealth.
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