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					Chinese Paper Gods: a digitized
collection at the C. V. Starr East Asian Library,
Columbia University

                     presented by
                  Charlene Chou
   on Oct. 12, 2010 at the class of Religions in
   Chinese Society instructed by Dr. Yanfei Sun


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Background: donor
    The images in this collection were assembled by Anne
     S. Goodrich (1895–2005) in 1931, when as a Christian
     missionary in Beijing she became interested in local
     folk religious practices.
    She studied the paper gods in this collection for much
     of her life. After publishing her research conclusions in
     1991, she donated these prints to the C. V. Starr East
     Asian Library, Columbia University.
    Her husband, L. Carrington Goodrich, who eventually
     became chairman of the growing young Department of
     Chinese at Columbia University, which eventually
     became the Department of East Asian Languages and
     Cultures. Together and separately the two donated
     many interesting artifacts from their years in China.

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She purchased everything in the store called Ren he zhi
dian--人和紙店 (Unity Among Men Paper Shop) in 1931.




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Background: categorization
    Ceremonial use (home worship):
        Purchased to be burned immediately and serve as
         emissaries to heaven; also called zhima--紙馬
         (paper horses) since, as Yu Zhaolong 虞兆隆 of the
         Qing explained, "because the gods and buddhas
         are carried by the paper, it is like a horse."
        Others: pasted on ceremonial altars, in stables,
         etc., where they would receive offerings for a period
         of time before being burned
        Pantheons, heaven, earth, underworld, buddhas
         and bodhisattvas, god of wealth and central figures

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Background: categorization

    For display (New Year's prints, nianhua-年畫)
        Purchased to be pasted conspicuously throughout
         the home during the New Year's celebration and
         displayed throughout the year. At the end of the
         year, they were burned and replaced with a fresh
         print. These prints are generally more colorful and
         exquisitely designed than those intended for
         ceremonial use.
        The images are further divided by display locations
         and by the deities they represent:
             Front door, back door, bedroom door, kitchen and domestic
              shrine
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The Web Site: 231 images

  http://www.columbia.edu/cu/lweb/digital/collect
   ions/eastasian/paper_gods/index.html
  Goal: for scholars with similar curiosity about
   these images and the worldview they
   represent will continue the study and deepen
   our understanding about their significance.
  Questions and suggestions concerning the site
   are welcome. Please send e-mail to
   starr@libraries.cul.columbia.edu.

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Pantheons

  Some examples




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Tian di 3 jie 10 fang wan ling zhen zai (天地三界十方萬靈眞宰):

Heaven, Earth, Three Regions, Ten Directions, All Spirits, True Master




                                                                         8
Tian di 3 jie 18 fo zhu shen (天地三界十八佛諸神): Heaven,
Earth, Three Regions, Eighteen Buddhas and all the Gods




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Wan shen dian (萬神殿): Temple of All
Gods




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72 Shashen (72煞神—72 malignant gods)




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Guansheng Dadi (關聖大帝): The Great Majestic
Sovereign Kuan--to correct




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Individual gods

   Some examples




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Zeng fu Caishen (增福財神): money




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Songsheng Niangniang (送生娘娘): fertility




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Menshen (門神): door god (front
door)




                                16
Zhong Kui (鍾馗): demon-killer (back door)




                                           17
Guanyin Pusa (觀音菩薩): mercy




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Gods in Couples

  Some examples




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Tugong Tumu (土公土母): earth




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Caigong Caimu (財公財母): money




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Chuanggong Chuangmu (床公床母): bed




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Further improvement & research
  Enhance its indexing by adding English
   terms, Wade-Giles forms, and more
   information of each image
  Adjust some categorization and add more
   specific categories
  Identify each images on multiple gods
  Open up for users to comment and tag
  Cross reference with academic books
  Also a special collection at the National
   Library of China (nianhua--年画撷英)
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References

  Goodrich, Anne S., Peking Paper Gods:
   a Look at Home Worship, 1991.
  Po, Sung-nien & Johnson, David,
   Domesticated Deities and Auspicious
   Emblems: the Iconography of Everyday
   Life in Village China, 1992.




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