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Leizhou's stone dogs are placed on roadsides and worshipped as guardian
The stone dog carvings of Leizhou Peninsula, Zhanjiang, were listed in the Catalogue of National Traditional Crafts for Rejuvenation by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
The list includes 383 projects from across the country with cultural antecedents, development prospects, and a certain number of inheritors. With national support, they will be bolstered as signature craft projects for the purpose of preserving traditions, propelling economic development, and creating jobs.
Leizhou is home to thousands of stone dogs, which were mainly sculpted from basalt. They range widely in size, weight, and shape. In the past, people came to the statues to pray for things like rain, a good harvest, and more children, as the dog was believed to be capable of communicating with heaven.
As time went on, the stone dogs began to be revered and worshipped as guardian gods, and they were placed at temples, storefronts, homesteads, and roadsides.
The Leizhou stone dogs were included in the second batch of national intangible cultural heritage items in 2008. Today, local handicraftsmen still train apprentices in order to pass on traditional carving techniques.
The stone dog carving techniques are handed down from generation to generation. [Photo/gdzjdaily.com.cn]