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Deities Worshipped
As is reflected in Paper Joss, practitioners of the ancient trades enthusiastically sought to link themselves with historical figures who were considered the founders of their trades. For example, artisan-painters worshipped Wu Daozi, a great saint painter of the Tang Dynasty (9618-907) who began as an artisan-painter; carpenters and building workers venerated Lu Ban, a famous architect of the Lu State during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 B.C.); textile workers revered as their founder Huang Daopo, an outstanding woman technician in the textile industry during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368)...
The need for an honorary leader, an attractive spiritual idol that could unite all members of an organization and strengthen them for the long-term development of the industry, impelled ancient Chinese to worship historical figures, revering them as masters and founders. Worshipping historical idols not only reflects the people's feudal, superstitious ideas but also embodies the seeds of Chinese capitalism. It was an inevitable consequence in the course of Chinese social development.

As we promised earlier, here are some of the gods worshipped by ancient Chinese farmers. We will display other deities of all trades later by stages.
White-Horse Vanguard


The White-Horse Vanguard was burned to "open a way " for god ascending to heaven or invite heavenly immortals to descend to this world during the sacrificials ceremony. Also, after a child had a shock and wasn't sleeping well, such a print would be burned in order to "recover the child's lost soul." The print is well executed with the image of a venerable old man on a galloping white horse. It is a traditional figure woodblock print with simple lines and fine cuts.
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