sometimes referred to as Fu Dogs, first appeared in China with the
coming of Buddhism. Their function was to symbolically protect and guard
against evil. They are commonly seen outside the main door of a house or
business and in the case of a major building, a temple or, as in this
case, Liverpool's Chinese Arch in Nelson Street, the building may be
protected by multiple pairs. One pair is situated in Great George Street
near to the former Congregationalist Church now known as The Blackie.
Another pair is situated in Nelson Street at the junction with Great
George Square. This pair is situated in Berry Street, one on each
pavement, near the junction with Bold Place. According to the rules of
feng shui Fu Dogs should face outwards. As you approach the protected
building the Fu Dog on your right should be the male dog which will hold
a globe under one paw. The Fu Dog on the left as you look towards the
building is the female who will be nurturing a cub under a paw. The
globe of the male signifies the moon-pearl and also the sun (the Yang).
The female with cub is symbolic of nurture and protection (the Ying).
Dogs or lions? Which is the most fearsome fighter? Which is the oldest
animal friend of man, scenting intrusion to the camp?
Alan Maycock © 2008
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