Sunday, November 25, 2012

Local Lord (地主爷): A Cultural Perspective

Even gods are different according to geographical locations, believe it!
The Chinese local lord belief is stated in the book Zuozhuan chapter on popular articles stated (左传通俗篇): “In a township, there must be a local lord, the function of local lord is to watch over the master of the township, and hence it is called the respectable one.”


The Hakka call local lord “old uncle” (伯公) and he is given a wife called “old woman” (伯婆), the Taiwanese Hokkian call him Fudezhengshen (福德正神). There are many times that a Taoist will seek the help of local lord for assistance, such as to travel to under world (观落阴) or to call upon the dead (牵亡魂).


In Guangdong (广东) and Hong Kong, shops and houses local lord is worshipped in the form of wooden tablet inscribed with the words “the doorway local lord”. Even though the status of “doorway local lord” is inferior to the main local lord, it can still protect the household from the wandering spirits and bring in fortune. Still remember the posting of a ghost seeking revenge? Let me refresh your memory:


The Singapore and Malaysia Chinese also worship local lord but with a slight difference:


·         The tablet of local lord in Hong Kong and Taiwan would read: “The front and back local lord and god of fortune.” (前后地主財神)

·         The tablet of local lord in Singapore and Malaysia would read: “The Chinese and foreigner local lord and god of fortune.” (唐番地主財神)


Whatever the case is, the local lord watch over a household, so he is normally placed in the living room facing the main entrance. A businessman will put the local lord in his shop or factory. The reason is that while protecting the shop, the local lord can also bring in fortune and good for business.


Related links:


Some services require the help of a local lord:



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