The Chinese language sea goddess Mazu is large enterprise in Taiwan and the blockchain might make it even larger.

The Mazu deity, generally known as a protector of seafarers and worshiped by Chinese language communities world wide for hundreds of years, is particularly standard in Taiwan. The Dajia Jenn Lann Temple in Taichung metropolis organizes an annual 300-kilometer nine-day pilgrimage with a statue of the goddess that attracts tons of of 1000’s of followers. 

The pilgrimages and associated festivals have fashioned what is named the “Mazu economic system,” referring to donations and spending on Mazu-themed merchandise and enterprise alternatives surrounding the faith. 

Dajia Jenn Lann Temple, which dates again to the Qing Dynasty within the 1700s, has determined so as to add a Net 3.0 component to its actions. It’s minting and promoting sea goddess non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that act as a precedence move for the pilgrimage that normally occurs within the Spring.

The MazuDAO NFTs went on sale in August at NT$ 18,880 (US$615) via the temple’s e-commerce platform MazuBuyBuy and elsewhere. To date, the temple has minted and bought greater than 2,800 NFTs

“Based on estimates the nine-day pilgrimage can generate greater than NT$5 billion (US$163 million) in spending. On the day when Mazu returned to the house temple, we noticed about 500,000 folks becoming a member of the pilgrimage,” Mingkun Cheng, vice chairman of the board of the Dajia Jenn Lann Temple, advised Forkast.

Extra youthful persons are becoming a member of the pilgrimage so the MazuDAO NFTs enchantment to them, mentioned Cheng. 

MazuDAO NFTs on OpenSea

On-line gods?

Many conventional cultural actions are adapting to digital and technological innovation, Mao-Hsien Lin, an affiliate professor of Nationwide Taichung College of Schooling’s Taiwanese languages and literature division, advised Forkast

Nevertheless, Lin, who researches Mazu faith, mentioned many elder followers are usually not so certain concerning the developments.

“They like the bodily contact and the direct contact with the statue of the deities,” Lin mentioned. They don’t seem to be so certain that in the event that they worship on-line that the deities are additionally on-line to listen to their prayers.

Nevertheless, Lin mentioned the pilgrimage precedence perk for NFT holders may not be too enticing for conventional believers. 

“Usually once we pray, the space between you and the statue doesn’t actually matter. It’s not such as you’d get particular therapy in the event you’re nearer,” he added. “It’s changing into a bit too commercialized.”

To faucet into the market of conventional believers, the NFT mission staff organized offline advertising campaigns — an strategy totally different from most  NFT initiatives that prioritize on-line advertising channels.

Jerry Yan, mission lead of MazuDAO, advised Forkast that many elder followers didn’t also have a smartphone and “very a lot stay in a Net 0.0 world.”

“We needed to arrange promotional cubicles in entrance of the temple to introduce MazuDAO NFTs to these Web0 believers,” Yan mentioned, including additionally they wanted a landline customer support staff as a result of it was the one method to attain older temple followers. 

“Usually on the telephone, we’d ask them to name for his or her grandchildren to assist out and arrange crypto wallets on their behalf.”

MazuDAO 2
MazuDAO NFT mission staff arrange promotional cubicles on the Dajia Jenn Lann Temple in August.

Industrial Mazu

Cheng mentioned that the temple has approved some on-line distributors to make use of its Mazu mental property to make merchandise on the market on its e-commerce platform MazuBuyBuy.

Lin the researcher mentioned Mazu has grow to be a highly-commercialized mental property in Taiwan, with Mazu-themed merchandise in comfort shops and on main on-line buying websites.

“Once more, I believe a big a part of the essence of faith lies in providing that psychological consolation for believers. It’s not essentially factor if it will get too commercialized,” Lin mentioned. “If we see the deity as a enterprise generator, it could lose a way of divinity.”

Nonetheless, Cheng of the Dajia Jenn Lann Temple mentioned the temple’s annual pilgrimages have attracted an rising variety of youthful folks and lots of submit movies of the competition and the pilgrimage on social media platforms comparable to Instagram and YouTube. 

A Korean YouTuber based mostly in Taiwan (generally known as Korean Kimchengu, actually “Korean enoki mushroom”) joined the pilgrimage final yr and made a video that has gained over 580,000 views.

Logan Beck, an American YouTuber based mostly in Taiwan, additionally uploaded a video of the 2021 pilgrimage, which now has greater than 405,000 views.

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