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Foo Dogs
Guardian beings found at the gates of many Chinese cemeteries. Foo dogs are what resulted when Indian Buddhist missionaries described lions to Chinese artists (who had no such creature lurking in their woods.) One male and one female foo dog guard each assigned entryway. The male, sitting on the right as you enter the gate, holds down a ball, sometimes painted gold. This signifies the authority of the man over the family's worldly affairs. The female, sitting on the left, holds down a kitten. She rules the domestic life, including the raising of the children and the management of the household. These relationships, like all familial ties, persist into death.

See also sphinx.