MS 7322 Portrait of Pangu, the creator of the universe, with magical inscriptions and symbols

Collection ID:
late 19th century
Physical Description:
1 Item
59 cm. x 25.3 cm.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
A print of this type is used in Chinese homes as a talisman. It shows Pangu, the mythological creator of the universe. In this image, he holds in his hands the sun (with yang symbol in ideograph) and the moon (with yin symbol in ideograph), for he created the universe by transforming yin and yang. An ax on a tree stump is an instrument believed to have been used by Pangu to separate earth and heaven.
Scope and Contents
Inscribed at the top of the print is Chiling (magic credentials from the folk cult of Taoism), supplemented with yin-yang (the dual principle in nature) and bagua (the eight trigrams) symbols. The main inscription, as magic words, reads: Lingfu chenche chuxie xifu (An amulet to dispel evil, to guard home, and to bestow good fortune).

Local Numbers
Local Numbers
NAA MS 7322
NAA INV 10000049

Local Note
Local Note
Data furnished by Chang-su Houchins, of the Department of Anthropology. She consulted Rita Aero, Things Chinese, 1980, and W. M. Hawley, Chinese Folk Designs, 1949.
Local Note
Woodcut print colored in red and green on oiled paper

Using the Collection
Manuscript 7322, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Custodial History
Custodial History
Originally included in the ethnology collection without provenience data. Transferred to the archives from the ethnology collection, March 1986.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Bagua Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Works of art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chinese -- magic -- Mythology Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pangu, (Chinese mythological character) Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
yang and yin Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland 20746