John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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Fu dogs!

I got a nice note today from Keiran Murphy at Taliesin Preservation, Inc., the organization that oversees the restoration and preservation of Taliesin and runs the tours, identifying the beastie I was standing next to in the photo I posted yesterday. Here's what the note said:

What you saw were Fu Dogs (that's the male dog your standing next to). Here's some info on them that we got a few years ago, after the Fu Dogs were restored:

FU DOGS or FU LIONS are mythical beasts of Chinese folk-religion. “Fo” is the Chinese word for Lord Buddha, and pairs of fu lions are often found guarding the gateways of Buddhist temples.... They are guardians of the law and protectors of sacred texts.... and are often displayed in children's bedrooms, gardens, and entryways. The male dog is usually playing with a ball, or “chu,” while the female has a puppy under her paw. The earliest traditions of fu-dog iconography date from the Han Dynasty (208 BC to 211 AD) []

They're called both Fu lions, or Fu dogs because the lion is not indigenous to China, so lions were modeled on the dogs around them.

The Fu Dogs (as we call them here) were restored in 2006 w/donated funds, and placed back on new pedestals.

So there you go. Thanks, Keiran!

Tags: art: architecture, art: sculpture, history

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