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Paper gods are thin pieces of paper on which the image of diverse deities of the Chinese pantheon has been printed, usually by carved wooden blocks. In North China commonly known as "paper horses" (chih-ma), these prints form an important part of Chinese popular religious cults. Widely spread among the population, from peasants to high officials, they were hung in homes, shops and places of work as a protection against evil spirits. The prints were also burnt as a means of transporting the deity represented to heaven. Anne S. Goodrich has collected a large number of those "paper horses" during the years she spent in Peking in the 1930s. The book presents numerous specimens of her unique collection in black-and-white illustrations, arranged according to the different types of gods, among them Gods of Wealth (Ts'ai-shen), Gods of Medicine, Patron Deities, and Household Gods. The prints show deities worshiped in Chinese popular beliefs as well as Taoist and Buddhist deities. The author analyses each print, its symbolism and iconography, and gives a detailed explanation of the specific deity's significance and the rituals and festivals connected with this deity.
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CHOICE – Outstanding Academic Title – Award Winner
CHOICE – 2018 Outstanding Academic Title – Award Winner
Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award Winner
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