As always if anyone knows who the artists of the pictures may be, it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
Mazu Goddess of the Sea
Mazu is the Chinese Goddess of the Sea. She protects sailors and fishermen and helps guide those out at sea to the cost. She is worshiped by many outside of China; such as Taiwan, Philippines, Malaysia, and Hawaii. She is based off of a legend about a mortal girl who became a divinity. She was born as Lin Moniang, daughter of a fisher man, and she had four brothers. Because she did not cry when she was born, her family named her Silent Girl. In paintings she is always seen wearing a red robe, but in most of her sculptures she is seen in white, orange, and gold. She is also shown in the garb of an empress with many jewels and the flat beaded hat of imperial family. It is said that she learned to swim at the age of fifteen (considered very late), but that she had a gift at it and perfected it in no time. Also, she would stand by the shore of the sea ever day in bright red robes so as to safely guide the fishermen back to the shore. She did so no matter what the weather.
The legend goes as follows: Moniang had four brothers and her father that all fished for a living. And one day there was a devastating typhoon. Everyone was sure that the fishermen would die out at sea. So, the family began to pray, and while praying, Moniang ell into a trance like state. She had a vivid dream that her father and brothers were drowning, so she began focusing on them trying desperately to save them. Her mother found her alseep and woke her in the middle of her dream. Moniang’s father and three of her brothers returned the next day, and they reported the miracle that occurred. But one brother had drowned, dropped by Moniang when her mother woke her from her stupor. Afterwards, an immortal gave her a talisman and she became immortal too. At about the age of thirty, she climbed Meifeng Peak and ascended to heaven as a divinity herself. She roamed the country as a Goddess, rescuing fishermen in danger at sea.
In much of her art, Mazu is shown accompanied by these two ogre like creatures. They are two guardian generals and her close friends. One is green with one horn. He is called Thousand Mile Eyes, and he is usually shown as a demon with his hand above his eyes, looking into the distance. The second one h was red with to horns, and big ears. He is called With the Wind Ear. He is typically depicted pointing at his ear. In many occasions, I have seen their colors swapped, but they can usually be identified by their gestures. It is said that they are two demons that Mazu conquered. They were both in love with her and wanted to marry her, but she said that only the one able to defeat her would she marry. So each of them battled with her, and she defeated both with martial arts. Afterwards, they became her friends.
There are two versions of how Moniang died. In one story she went up the mountain alone and flew to heaven (as mentioned above). In the second story, she went out to sea to look for her father. While swimming, she became exhausted and drowned. Her body was believed to be found on one of the Matsu Islands. It is said that after she died she forever roams the sea. If you like Mazu and want to know more, check out this website: http://www.cultural-china.com/chinaWH/html/en/13Traditions1962.html