Ma Gu (Goddess of Longevity)
colored pencil, metallic pencil, marker, prismacolor blender
© 2012 by A. Dameron
Ma Gu is the Chinese Goddess of long life. She is usually portrayed as holding peaches, wine or fruit. She brewed a special wine for the Queen Mother of the West, and so earned her title. Ma gu xian shou is a play recreating that scene.
According to another myth, Ma Gu was the daughter of a cruel general. He forced his workers to work through the night, only letting them rest when the rooster crowed at dawn. Ma Gu learned to imitate a rooster's call, so she crowed early to allow the men to sleep. Her father found out and wanted revenge, so she escaped to the mountains, where the Queen Mother of the West transformed her into the Goddess of Longevity.
My picture shows Ma Gu walking on water on her way to the Queen Mother's birthday banquet, bearing a bunch of peaches. The rooster sits near the peach tree and announces the dawn.