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Zhenlan Temple, Dajia, Taiwan, Republic of China (ROC). One of Taiwan's "Ba Jia Jiang", the 8 Generals. Ba Jia Jiang are usually seen at temple and religious festivals throughout Taiwan. Ba Jia Jiang are protectors. They keep the evil spirits at bay or chase them down and deal with them. It is common knowledge to the audience that they are not permitted to smile; the fans they carry with characters written on them are to protect themselves from whatever demons may be floating around. They protect both the spirit mediums and the audience from darker spirits. When Ba Jia Jiang perform, they first paint their faces. This is called 'opening their faces'. Once their faces are open they have a code of strict taboos that they have to follow, including not eating meat; not smiling; joking around or chatting. At all times they must be very fierce and maintain their focus. nowadays Ba Jia Jiang are often associated with gangs, drugs and delinquent youth. Their image has been transformed from protectors of society into a menace to society.

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Filename
Mazu2008-285.jpg
Copyright
©Craig Ferguson 2008
Image Size
2336x3504 / 5.9MB
Contained in galleries
Culture | Religion and Faith
Zhenlan Temple, Dajia, Taiwan, Republic of China (ROC). One of Taiwan's "Ba Jia Jiang", the 8 Generals. Ba Jia Jiang are usually seen at temple and religious festivals throughout Taiwan. Ba Jia Jiang are protectors. They keep the evil spirits at bay or chase them down and deal with them. It is common knowledge to the audience that they are not permitted to smile; the fans they carry with characters written on them are to protect themselves from whatever demons may be floating around. They protect both the spirit mediums and the audience from darker spirits. When Ba Jia Jiang perform, they first paint their faces. This is called 'opening their faces'. Once their faces are open they have a code of strict taboos that they have to follow, including not eating meat; not smiling; joking around or chatting. At all times they must be very fierce and maintain their focus.  nowadays Ba Jia Jiang are often associated with gangs, drugs and delinquent youth. Their image has been transformed from protectors of society into a menace to society.