Spirit Tablet (shen zhu pai)
Emperor Guangxu period (1875-1908). Taiwan
Collected by James L. Maxwell, MAA 1994.10 a-b
The ‘spirits’ of the deceased are said to reside in these tablets that are dedicated by their descendants. In return for being looked after, the deceased protect the living. This tablet contains three male spirits, probably brothers. People may be considered as coming from a single ancestral ‘body’ as they reside together in one tablet or altar.