Photographs and Information about Taiwan's Culture, Nature and People by Rich Matheson

Anping’s Sword Lions 安平劍獅

Inspired by Micki and Kristen’s post about Anping, I went looking for sword lions in Anping. These two were in Haishan Hostel.

Sword lions are often found above doors and are believed to protect the dwelling’s occupants.The position of the sword(s) indicates different things. Here, two swords increases the owners ability as a warrior.A sword facing right brings luck and happiness. (notice the common seven star motif on the sword)A sword facing left is for dispelling evil.One origin theory is that Koxinga’s soldiers hung their shields (with lion designs) and swords on their doors. This soon became a sort of address and soon people installed permanent sword lions.Pigsy (豬八戒) sword lion The bat likeness shows happiness as bat is the same sound in Chinese.Now rare, oyster shell cement sword lion.They come in all shapes and forms. Wood, cement, tile, stone, clay…Pig or elf sword lion.Smiling Pekinese dog sword lionCement with nice marbles for eyes.Pebbledash sword lion, on top of a wall.Beautifully painted tile.A pottery type tile.This one reminds me of some of my old bathtubs.Painted on the wall.Hanging over a doorThe  王 (king) character indicates the lions status as king of the beasts and was therefore used on warriors shields.

WoodHard to take a picture of this one.It was sandwiched in this narrow space between two houses.32 Jung Xing StreetSeven Eleven sword Lion. Is that a eleven star sword? or seven and eleven star?Tile monstrosity guarding Anping VillageSword Lion marketHigh up on a roofLovely new sword lionOn Zhou Long temple

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4 responses

  1. You found 32 of them! I think this is the most complete photos of the Sword-Lions that I have ever seen! !There are only 30-40 of them reamining now, and you found almost all of them! How exciting..All of them are so precious!

    July 10, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    • Took me three trips to Anping! Great way to see all the alleys and streets.

      Thanks for the wonderful info and inspiration from your blog.

      July 11, 2010 at 10:06 am

  2. Pingback: Weekly Links – July 15, 2010 « The Daily Bubble Tea

  3. Pingback: Taiwanderful! Highlights of my long weekend to Tainan and Kaohsiung

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