What do statues of lions with their paws on balls mean? Should the ball be on the inside or the outside?

I see some with the paw on the ball on the inside of the entrance way. I have sen some with the paw on the ball on the outside of the entrance way. Sometimes there are two -- one on each side of the door or walkway. Sometimes there is only one. We saw that in the move the Godfather at the New York house.

1 Answer

  • 9 years ago
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    The statues are in pairs because they are male and female imperial guardians. When you enter a temple or home, the male lion is on your right and the female on your left. They mean luck and prosperity and are signs of wealth.

    Only the male has the ball under its foot. The ball is an embroidered ball called a "xiù qiú" The male lion protects the structure while the female lion (who has a cub under her foot) guards the people in it. The male lion usually will have his mouth open and the female has hers closed but not always. There are variations. The ball represents the union of Heaven and Earth.

    Here is an example of the male with the ball directly under his paw: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6d...

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