The nine scrolls of this collection of ritual scrolls derive from the old Kwan Tai (Guan Di 關帝) Temple in the northern outskirts of Honolulu's Chinatown, where they formed part of a larger set used in jiao, “Offering” liturgies. The temple was “situated in a dark, musty room over a row of grocery stores on Vineyard Street near the river” (Sau Chun Wong, “Chinese Temples in Honolulu,” 1937). The temple is now long gone, but in the 1930s it was the thriving center of the Daoist priesthood in Hawaii.
The Daoist priests working out of the Kwan Tai Temple included Li Saiyin, who had migrated from China, and who was the teacher of the priest, Albert Chun, now in his eighties. Like Li Saiyin, Albert Chun’s parents had arrived from the subdistrict of Longdu 隆都 in Zhongshan 中山 County in the province of Guangdong. The majority of the scrolls were produced in the province of Guangdong in the early part of the twentieth century, while a few are more recent. The set of nine scrolls was acquired by the Director of this project via a nephew of Albert Chun, Shane Maihui, and a student at the University of Hawaii, Aaron McCraw.
This scroll shows Marshal Ma, Ma yuanshuai 馬元帥, one of the Four Great Marshals of Daoism since the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), and a guardian of the Daoist sacred area in many parts of China. He is recognizable by the third eye, the triangular gold brick in his left hand, and the long halberd with a crescent-shaped blade, ji 戟 (which typically has a snake twirled around it).
Collection of Poul Andersen, Honolulu, Hawaii