Wood carving of Buddha Wei-Tu

17th C. (Ming)
Camphor Wood
31.½” h x 12.½” w x 12” d

The Buddha Wei-Tu is the leader of the celestial force which governs the four gates of heaven. Here he is riding on a dragon, traveling through clouds, meaning he has magical power and can grant wishes. The aperture on his back is still closed. Only priests and holy men are supposed to open it to retrieve the wishes worshippers placed inside. Laymen tempted to open it are supposed to meet bad luck.