This gilt figure of Hokkien Ma Cho Po, known in Mandarin as Mazu, is the Goddess of the Sea. She is considered to be the special protector of fishermen, sailors and seafarers. In the past, when most Peranakans were traders, they had close connections to the sea. Consequently the most important temples were dedicated to her. Before setting out on a voyage, it was customary to visit a Ma Cho temple to ask for protection. Similarly, immediately upon arrival at port, travellers would visit Ma Cho to thank her for their safe passage. This object is typical of temple images and would have been originally placed in a shrine or temple. Such images are extremely rare now.