The Jack Daulton Collection
Antique & Ethnographic Art

Marshal Chao,

ceremonial painting,

Yao people, SE Asia


Marshal Chao (Chao Yuan-shuai) (Tsiou Yun Suei), a Taoist guardian divinity 

ceremonial scroll painting

mineral pigment on mulberry paper

43 x 18 1/4 inches

Yao people

Southeast Asia (northern Vietnam, Laos, northern Thailand, southern Myanmar)

19th century



provenance:  collected near Chiang Mai, Thailand, by Jack Daulton; from the same set as Yao painting 2 on this website

See Jacques Lemoine, Yao Ceremonial Paintings (Bangkok: White Lotus, 1982), pgs. 115-118.

"The presence of the Marshals [a group of six, depicted in two scrolls] is essential for the perforance of any major ritual.  They are the guardians of the holy precinct (either the family altar or the priest's sacred tribune); and their duty is to bar the way to demons and unclean malevolent influences."  Lemoine at 115.

"Marshal Chao wears a hat of iron, and holds a knurled staff (or sometimes a sword) in one hand.  Usually his other hand holds a throwing weapon in the [ring] shape of a golden quoit.  His face is often black, with a luxuriant moustache and beard.  He assumes a warlike stance, which can appear threatening in some pictures." Lemoine at 115.

On the scroll, Marshal Ma (with three eyes) and Marshal Chang stand below Marshal Chao.


verso detail 1:
verso detail 2: