Wood Fired Wamao Statue

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These Wamao sculptures may be a bit too large to be considered tea pets, but that doesn’t mean they can’t join you for tea. Otherwise, we advise placing them at a high position, preferably facing the door.

Although they look like cats, Wamao were originally intended to be tigers, poised with a wide open mouth to eat up even the largest of monsters and maintain the safety of the entire household. These cat-like protectors can be found all over Yunnan and other parts of China, typically perched as a rooftop decoration, with the design and features varying depending on the region (see the last 2 photos for a small Wamao shrine that we recently came across in Fujian).

These sculptures were made by the father of an art professor at the Yunnan University. While we discovered these pieces in Jianshui, they’re not actually made from Jianshui zitao clay, but rather another local clay that has been wood fired.

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