Also called "Foo
s of Foo," or "Lions of Corea
," these are found in Chinese
art- usually statues- and are often placed at temple gates or at the front of houses. Stone Lions of Foo sometimes gaze ferocious
ly from the steps of official building
s, meant to scare demons
from the premises. They are sacred to Buddhism
s of wisdom
and good fortune.
The Lions of Foo usually come in pairs, and a male Foo Dog is often depicted as holding a ball under one paw. A female would hold a small cub under her paw.
Lions of Foo can be seen more often these days in front of Chinese restaurants. I found a male Lion of Foo, blood-colored and angry-looking, at an antique store and it now sits on a glass stand in my livingroom. Many guests find the statue slightly eerie.