One of the main characteristics of Chinese culture is the decoration of its buildings with statues of guardian lions for security and protection. It’s a millenary tradition.
Chinese guardian lions, also called Fu Lions, Lions of Buddha, or sometimes Stone Lions in Chinese art, are a common representation of the lion in pre-modern China, which is believed to have powerful mythic protective powers.
They have traditionally stood in front of Chinese imperial palaces, temples, emperors’ tombs, government offices, and the homes of government officials and the wealthy from the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), until the end of the Chinese empire in 1911.
Fu Lions or Statutes of Chi, are always created in pairs, with the male playing with a ball and the female with a cub. They are commonly found in many types of Chinese pottery and in Western imitations.
Chinese stone lions are still popular decorative and symbolic elements at the entrances to restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and other structures, with one sitting on each side of the entrance. They are commonly found in China and in other places around the world where the Chinese people have immigrated and settled, especially in local Chinatowns.
During my recent visit to the Bridge of the Americas I saw a pair of these protective lions at the entrance of the observation post located on the western bank of the bridge.
I shot a couple of pictures to share them with the readers of Lingua Franca. This is what I saw that Sunday morning. Here we go.
During your next visit to Panama, I encourage you to take a tour to the Bridge of the Americas at the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal. It’s worth more than a thousand visits to your local library. Good Day.