GREEN FACED LION


 

 

The green-faced lion with lanced-shaped brows lion represents a ferocious, cruel and almost undefeatable variety of the lion species. It signifies the the Manchu Government during the Ching Dynasty. Fighting the lion meant combating the Manchus. This was first thought of by the patriotic Chinese of the Ming Dynasty who were determined to overthrow the Manchu rule. The green faced lion, as the term applies has a green face coupled with projecting teeth, presents a dreadful appearance. 

This illustrates how inhumane the Manchu reign was at that time. At many massacres, thousands of Chinese were murdered without any cause until their blood literally reddened the rivers. The Chinese, to release their heart-felt hatred, thus invented the green-faced lion dance. 

The lance-shaped brows of the green-faced lion was made of twin steel swords each measuring 1 foot 6 inches in length, the "beard" was short and black, the mouth closed showing only projecting teeth, and a body length of 18 feet, to conceal weapons and men. The tail end of the lion must be co-ordinated with the lion head during the dance. Thus only men with high dexterity and skill are able to perform the dance well. 

After the fall of the Manchu reign, the idealism of Dr. Sun Yat Sen became materialised. During this period, Master Kan Teck Guan gathered a group of experts in Shaolin Wuzuquan at the Chuan District Hockkien Province to hold lion dances and to explain the initial meaning of such dances. Overwhelming the green lion means overthrowing the Ching Dynasty. Consequently, they also demonstrated skinning the lion, dissecting the abdomen of the lion, chopping the lion limbs, extracting the intestine, preying on the flesh and consuming the lion blood. Since the ultimate objective had been attained such green-faced lions are no more in existence. However, Master Ang Hoon Suah, a follower of Master Kan Teck Guan came to Southeast Asia to teach this kind of arts and one of his most gifted followers, Master Lim Leng Huat introduced this arts to the Nanyang Wushu Federation of Sarawak. Although the Nanyang Wushu Federation of Sarawak still perform green faced lion dances, they are merely meant for physical exercises and pugilistic arts and do not embody the initial meaning as before. 

The green-faced white browed lion represents an elderly lion with white eyebrows, long beard and open mouth. This lion is used in ceremonies during the festive seasons and for house to house visit in villages during such occasions. This lion dance is believed to bring luck and prosperity, to drive off devils and spirits, and to bring peace and good harvests to the people. This type of green lion is still in existence today. To summarise, there are altogether three varieties of lions: 

  1. Green-faced white eye-brow lion (Senior Lion) 
  2. Green-faced white lanced-shaped brow lion (Fighting Lion) 
  3. Young Lion (Song Kiang Lion) 
The 'Young Lion' is very popular in many of the districts in Hockkien and Taiwan for recreational purposes and for physical exercises.