Maonan Religion

       Like other ethnic groups, the Maonan are polytheistic. They pay homage to dozens of deities or immortals on various occasions. These icons include figures from myths, legends, celebrities of historical events, divinities from Taoism or Buddhism, ancestors of the family and so on.
       All Maonan families have a wooden plate on the wall facing the entrance of the front door. This part of the wall is the shrine of the family. Written on the plate are the namesof the deities they worship heaven, earth, emperor, kinfolk, Confucius, Samkai, shrine guarding angel, house guard, all immortals, etc. On the bottom right of the divine plate is a list of the names of the ancestors from the last five generations and names of grandfather-in-law and grandmother-in-law.
       During festivals and important days, articles of tribute, such as food, incense, etc., are placed on the tribute-table. Near the kitchen stove, a piece of red paper is glued on the wall for the purpose of praying to the Kitchen god for the welfare of the family. On the wall behind the front door, at knee height, another piece of red paper is put up to pray to the god of Earth for peaceful outdoor activities. At the entrance of a village, there is often a small temple, often built under a big rock, for General Li Guang who is believed to be the protector of the village. Outside, on the front door planks are glued the portraits of Shentu and Yulei for protecting the family and the house. Many families hang a mirror (the monster-revealing mirror) above the front door to ward off devils. Other gods and immortals worshipped are the Thunder God, the Thunder Soldiers, the Guanyin, Mungguen (an evil immortal), Luban (a master carpenter, a historical figure), Lokgiu (the bridge builder, a legendary figure), Biu (King of Yao, a legendary figure), Nifansui (Goddess of Birth) and so on.

 

 

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