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Taotie

Taotie - Ogre Mask - a sacrificial animal and a warning against avarice, gluttony, sensuality, self indulgence. Stylized Full-face zoomorphic mask with ears, horns and large fangs, but without a lower jaw. In some bronzes the similarity with a water buffalo head without a lower jaw is obvious, but in many others instances this is not the case. It appears on bronze vessels of the Shang dynasty and thereafter on objects in various media, especially those with archaistic decoration. These fantastic creatures may have served as intermediaries between the world of men and the realms of the spirits.

See also: Animal Figures

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