A well carved and painted wooden Ming statue of a female deity. She is in a sitting position holding something in her hands and wearing a hat that looks like some strange animal.The most significant appearance of a female deity in traditional Chinese popular religion occurs in the sixteenth century, with a new deity, known as wu sheng lao mu-the Venerable Eternal Mother. The primary deity of salvational sectarian religion, she is a grandmotherly figure who wants to call back to heaven all of her children, the inhabitants of this world. The cults devoted to her were often explicitly egalitarian, and women played prominent roles as leaders.
Religion offered women in traditional China a wider variety of social roles than did any other realm, and perhaps as important as the social roles, religion (especially popular religion) presented to Chinese women a rich symbolic structure in which female gender was validated.
Size: H. 32cm. Base width. 13.5cm x 8cm. Condition: No repairs. Natural ageing and losses of the original paint.