If you happen to visit Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, looking closely at the ancient stone dog sculptures at Leizhou Museum makes for a highly rewarding and insightful experience.
The stone dogs, mostly carved out of basalt, have been worshiped as guard gods and highly valuable sculptures by people around the city of Leizhou.
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Dog worshiping in Leizhou dates back to before the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), when the Luoyue ethnic group adopted the creature as their totem, according to Leizhou Meseum.
With an extensive history, Leizhou stone dog culture was also included in the national list of intangible cultural heritage in 2008.
The stone dog has since taken on diverse roles, being worshiped as the god of wind and rain, harvest, reproduction, luck, fortune,longevity and justice.