draft version

term tudigong, god of the land
narrator Manray Hsu

Tudigong or God of the Land (literally means Lord of the soil and the ground), is a tutelary deity of natural locality in Chinese folk religion. Tudigong is worshipped since ancient times to modernity. With its shrine or altar usually occupying the most strategic location of a place, whether in a mountain, in a village or inside a house, Tudigong plays the role of guardian for the land’s natural environment, animals, plants, as well as humans. As opposed to Gaia the earth god, Tudigong is ultimately localised, in the sense of taking care of the smallest site or larger locality like a village or a city, but never the whole earth. By bringing Tudigong into the vocabulary of geopolitics, I would like to not simply emphasise the importance of the local as opposed to the global or the regional, particularly as these latter terms bear upon the hegemonic powers exercising behind geopolitics, but also insert an animist element in geopolitics in order to free modernity from its dichotomy of nature and culture, human and nonhuman.