Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/322

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294 Collectanea,

but to the particular character touched. For instance, if this character includes the sign for "women," it is of evil significance. The pa kwa charm is to be seen everywhere in China, both as a personal amulet and on buildings, and especially on square boards erected on roofs. The specimen shown in Fig. 6 is intended for a roof beam. The different trigrams, reading from to the right in Fig. 6, signify heaven, heavenly (running) water, thunder, mountains, earthly (stagnant) water, light (or fire), earth, and wind. On these trigrams and on the Yih-king is based the system olfeng-shui, or divination by the lines of streams and hills, &c., which has been such a hindrance to progress in China. Feng-shui is used especially for choosing favourable sites for graves, and it is easy to understand how a new road, or a railway cutting, or a telegraph line, may alter the lines of a neighbourhood, and thus, by making uncomfortable the graves of past generations, bring down upon the neighbourhood the calamitous anger of ancestral ghosts.

Referring to the plate. Fig. i shows Tung chih or poetry cash, which protects wayfarers from accidents on land or sea. Twelve small cash are arranged in such an order that the names of the mints can be read as a jingle. The charm is most powerful if the cash are of the reign of the famous emperor K'ang-Hsi. Fig. 2 is hxoT\z% feng tsien or dragon money; a protective against disease. The two dragons shown are two of the four divine beasts. Figs. 3 and 4 illustrate the Chinese estimate of woman, 3 being a pih kea so or hundred families, cash lock for a boy, and 4 a king keuen so or neck ring lock for a girl. (The latter is a Korean specimen, but, I understand, is identical with a Chinese charm.) For the former, the father of an only or dearly-loved son will collect three or four copper cash from one hundred different persons, add what more money may be wanted, and then have the silver purchased therewith made into a padlock such as that shown, which is used to lock a silver chain or ring round the boy's neck, and so lock him to life. The one hundred sureties for long life suggest the Devonshire practice by which thirty pennies are collected from as many different persons or from different parishes, changed into silver sacrament-money, and made into a charm-ring for epilepsy, etc. The silver lock shown is a real lock, the bar across the top being the bolt, and the keyhole being at the side; but the corresponding neck-ring lock for a girl or grown woman, fig. 4, is a