Ming Pipa

Step 8 of 10

The Deer and the crane

Such figures are surrounded by nature-themed motifs such as deer. The words for deer and wealth are homophonous, pronounced as ‘lu’ in Chinese, while deer are also associated with many Buddhist legends, including one in which the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni Buddha, was reincarnated as a deer.

Other similar motifs found on the pipa include cranes and plum-blossoms. In Chinese folklore, cranes are not only long-lived but also serve as mounts for the immortals, and the plums are thought to be resilient because they blossom in winter, thereby symbolizing good fortune, longevity, and loyalty.

Want to see a bat? Then let us go back to the front of the instrument...