Thursday, January 14, 2016

Quan Yin Mask

Sometimes I find that a mask wants to be made, and it seems that I receive "invisible support" in my quest to make it.  For quite a while now I wished to make a mask for Quan Yin, the Goddess of Compassion in China.  But I lacked a cast of a Chinese woman's face, and also did not have any Chinese aquaintances that I could ask to sit for me.  Then in November (I rent rooms in my home with AIRBNB) no less than three beautiful  Chinese women rented rooms from me!  And with the kind assistance of Irene who modelled for the mask, I at last was able to make the mask for Quan Yin.  Now, it is my hope, dancers will come to perform it.

From Journey to the Goddess (

In Chinese tradition, “Kwan Yin (‘She Who Hears the Prayers of the World’) was originally the mother Goddess of China, who proved so popular She was adopted into the Buddhist pantheon as a bodhisattva (much like the Goddess Bridgit was made a saint). A bodhisattva is a person who has attained enlightenment but chooses to forgo Nirvana and remain in the world to help others attain enlightenment.  As the still-popular mother Goddess of China, Kwan Yin is known as a great healer who can cure all ills. She is also a Goddess of fertility, and is often shown holding a child. In this aspect She is known as Sung-tzu niang-niang, “The Lady Who Brings Children”. She is shown holding a crystal vase, pouring out the waters of creation. Simply calling Her name in time of crisis is believed to grant deliverance.

Guanyin is also revered by Chinese Taoists (sometimes called Daoists) as an Immortal. However, in Taoist mythology, Guanyin has other origination stories which are not directly related to AvalokiteĊ›vara.  She is known as the Goddess Tara in Tibet and the Himalayas and Mazu in Her incarnation as the Goddess of the Southern Seas, but She is best known by Her Chinese name, Kwan Yin (also spelled Kuan Yin), the Goddess of Compassion.  


Kuan Yin (Kwan Yin. Guan Yin, Guan Shih Yin, Quan Yin, Guanyin, Kuanin)
Mazu, A-ma, Matsu
Goddess of the Southern Sea
Kwannon (Japan)
the Asian Santa Maria
One Who Hears the Cries of the World
(Lady Who Brings Children)
The Maternal Goddess
The Observer of All Sounds
Bodhisattava of Compassion
The Thousand-hand Kuanyin   ***

***I had to include the following video.  If you’ve not seen this before, be prepared to be amazed.  The performance is called “Thousand-handed Goddess of Mercy” performed by China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe.  They are all deaf and mute.  The amazing leading dancer is Tai Lihua , who is a dance teacher at a deaf-mute school in Hubei, China.


Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

The mask is exquisite! You were certainly plugged into something big when you did this. And the Deaf mutes??!

Gail said...

Worth the wait!