Chinese Deity Earth God Tu-Di-Gong
AGE: – Vintage 20th Century
CONSTRUCTION: – Camphor Wood
HEIGHT: – 39cm
DEPTH: – 19cm
WEIGHT:– 3.7 kg
#4210 PRICE: – CONTACT
This image of the Chinese Deity Earth God Tu-Di-Gong is portrayed as an elderly man with a long grey beard, seated on a chair holding a staff in the right hand, with a gilded dragon head on the end and a gold ingot in the left hand. Tu Di Gong’s clothing is richly painted to resemble enamelling. The gilding is slightly worn in places but overall in very good condition.
The Tu Di Gong deity is found in Taoist temples and homes throughout Taiwan and China and many South East Asian countries wherever there is a Chinese population. This deity is frequently seen at the main entrance of a business or home and is one of the oldest and most popular deities. Tu-Di-Gong is also referred to as the “Lord of the Place”, he is subservient to Cheng Huang, the spiritual magistrate of the village.
The role of Tu Di Gong is that of an administrator on a local level in the heavenly realm. He is believed to protect those within the district. Villagers of the Taoist tradition pray to this deity as well as many other Taoist deities for agricultural abundance and prosperity.
Deities such as the earth god Tu Di Gong and the deity Guan Yu originated from historical people who assisted and helped their communities in times of need. It is believed, that if misfortune has befallen a village or community the Tu di Gong has lost interest and a new patron will be chosen.
As important as Tu Di Gong is to the people, many Taiwanese today do not know who Tudi Gong is, nor do they know the origin of the cult. Scholars have found that the cult of Tudi Gong evolved and merged with older, pre-imperial cults of the gods of she (earth) and chi (grain).
Beginning in the period of the Eastern (Later) Han dynasty (25-220), the Tu di cult emerged growing into what he is best known for today as the patron of the local community, although originally he originated in the agricultural tradition. Tu Di Gong eventually became known in all villages because of his community representation.