"Known variously as Tianhou or Tin Hau, Mazu or A-Ma, the Empress of Heaven is one of China's most important deities. Renowned for her control of water and her willingness to help those in distress, she is worshipped by city dwellers, farmers, and fisherfolk alike." "Treating all aspects of the Empress's worship, this book begins with the myth of a girl from Putian, in Fujian province, whose magical powers allowed her to rescue her father and brothers from a shipwreck. It examines the history of her cult, her gradual rise in the Chinese pantheon, and the meaning of her worship today. Drawing examples from Hong Kong, Fujian, and Taiwan, it explores the siting and decoration of her temples, common practices of devotion, and her unique festivals."--BOOK JACKET.
Maps on lining paper.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 74-75) and index.
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