Personal Campaign

Gregory Cunningham

Gregory is gathering 100 signatures to

Demand That The Wenling Zoo In China Stop Abusing Animals

Of great importance in Chinese myth and culture, the Tiger is one of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals. Also in various Chinese art and martial art, the tiger is depicted as an earth symbol and equal rival of the Chinese dragon- the two representing matter and spirit respectively. The White Tiger (Chinese: 白虎; pinyin: Bái Hǔ) is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese constellations. It is sometimes called the White Tiger of the West (西方白虎), and it represents the west and the autumn season. The tiger replaces the lion as king of the beasts in cultures of eastern Asia, representing royalty, fearlessness and wrath. In Chinese children stories, it is often depicted that the stripes on a tiger’s forehead represent the character 王 (“king”). Some cultures that celebrated tiger worship are still represented contemporarily. In the suburbs of Kunming, China, there is a tourist attraction where the tiger worship of the Yi is displayed for visitors. This attraction called the Solar Calendar Square is complete with a growling tiger statue, measuring to be five meters high (Harrell & Yongxiang 2003, p. 380). In Chuxiong of China, a similar attraction exists. A tiger totem is presented for tourists; the totem portrays the Yi belief of the tiger setting the entire world in motion. A tiger dance of the Shuangbai County is also performed at such places explaining the history of the Yi and their worship of tigers (Harrell & Yongxiang 2003, p. 380). Along with these tourist attractions that display historical practices of the Yi, there is also additional evidence for tiger worship. Tigers were found depicted on small stones. These stones were pierced and worn as amulets, suggesting that the tiger had a certain power of protection for its wearer (Waterbury 1952, p. 76). The Queen Mother deity of the west, Hsi Wang Mu, sometimes possessed a tail of a tiger in her depictions and, like the tiger, was associated with the mountains (Waterbury 1952, p. 76). The tiger was also a deity for both the Tungus and the Black Pottery people (Waterbury 1952, p. 80). In many parts of Vietnam, the tiger is a revered creature. In each village, there might be a tiger temple. This worshiping practice might have stem from the fear of tigers used to raid human settlements in the ancient time. Tigers are admired for their great strength, ferocity and grace. Tiger is also considered a guardian deity. Tiger statutes are usually seen at the entrance of temples and palaces, keeping evil spirits from entering those places. The tiger is associated with the Hindu deities Shiva and Durga. In Pokhara, Nepal the tiger festival is known as Bagh Jatra. Celebrants dance disguised as tigers and "hunted". The Warli tribe of Maharashtra, India worship Waghia the lord of tigers in the form of a shapeless stone. In Hanoi and Manchuria tiger-gods are also found.

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