Oh boy oh boy. In May 1996 a friend gave me this Big Eared Lucky Buddha. Like the totally wacky Mexican Snow-Globe Pyramid of Luck and several Mexican package amulets, it combines indigenous "lucky" legume seeds, a Catholic "good luck" crucifix, lodestone chunks, rice, a "lucky" elephant, and a Japanese Buddha.
This Buddha is about 4 inches high and is cast of translucent brown plastic, giving him a strong resemblance to a root-beer-flavoured all-day sucker. He is fat, pendulant-breasted, bald, and seated -- and has ENORMOUS ears. The ears mark him as one of those re-worked Japanese Buddha images that originally represented one of the seven big-eared "lucky gods" of ancient Japan. If i am not mistaken, the luck god who became a Buddha (now there's a name for a children's story) was Hotei. Or maybe not. Anyway, he's no more a Buddha than the carving of the woman holding a baby at Notre Dames de Chartres is a Virgin Mary.
The lower portion of his body contains an inclusion of opaque off-white plastic into which was set (prior to being enveloped in root-beer-coloured Buddha-hood), a gold-washed metal crucifix, of the multi-armed type known as the cross of Caravaca or "wishing cross," which has two tiny angels praying at its base. Surrounding the cross, like a demonic halo, are grains of rice and poisonous red-and-black legume seeds of the species Abrus precatorius. These seeds are so toxic that a single one can kill an adult; like many other poisonous legumes, they contain hallucinogenic alkaloids.
Upending the statue reveals more rice and A. precatorius seeds, a white plastic elephant with raised trunk, and a scattering of lodestone chunks (called "piedra iman" in Mexico).
Other Buddhas from this same manufacturer may contain additional lucky charms, such as a coin, a horseshoe charm, and a second species of red legume seed.
The overall effect is that of a pregnant "transparent woman" whose fetus is a golden cross.
It is higly likely that the manufacturer of these pieces was also responsible for the Mexican Snow-Globe Pyramid of Luck, which contains a similar assortment of natural items and plastic amulets cast from the same molds. You will not find anything much more multi-cultural than this item anywhere -- not to mention its ultra-high "luckiness" quotient.
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