Photographer's Note

To most Malaysian Chinese, Datuk Gong is a local guardian spirit that resides in trees, ant hills, caves, riverbanks and in strange stone formations. A Datuk worship usually begins after a person is granted a vision of the Datuk's spiritual form. Some common forms are a white tiger and the form of an old man dressed in white. A Datuk can also be "invited" to reside outside (never indoors) a family home for spiritual protection and luck.

The Datuk Gong is presented in many forms; an idol bearing his likeness, a tablet with an inscription of his title, a rock, a songkok, a stack incense and flags are all used to denote the presence of the spirit. Shrines are usually decorated with items related to the Datuk and his position as a Malay guardian; a Malay sarong, songkok, keris, rattan cane, baju Melayu are among the items one can find placed right next to the idol. In more urban areas, the Datuk is usually represented with a central tablet bearing his title as the Datuk Gong of the area, written in Chinese.

A common misconception held by most Malaysians is that the Datuk Gong is just another regular Chinese deity. In fact, most Datuks are Malay-Muslim spirits. There are also Chinese, Indian, Siamese and even Orang Asli Datuks present and they are all considered independent from the Chinese pantheon of gods. The function and position of the Datuk varies across communities but his position as the spirit of the land remains the backbone of the belief. In most Chinese temples, the Datuk is almost always outside of the main building, either on a small altar of his own or a small shrine on the ground. Only in temples dedicated solely to the spirit will the idol or tablet be placed at the main altar.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Alex Fan Moniz (LondonBoy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 97 W: 0 N: 662] (2614)
  • Genre:
  • Medium:
  • Date Taken: 2016-01-01
  • Camera: Canon EOS 1300D
  • Exposure: 1/74
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  • Date Submitted: 2022-06-23 13:43
Viewed: 0
Points: 2
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Additional Photos by Alex Fan Moniz (LondonBoy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 97 W: 0 N: 662] (2614)
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