SQUARE ALTAR TABLES WITH EMBROIDERED APRONS PLACED TO THE SIDE OF THE MAIN ALTAR. HONG SAN SI TEMPLE. KUCHING, SARAWAK, MALAYSIA. PHOTO: TREVOR VALE – TAASA Review March 2011

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This article was originally found in the March 2011 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 20, Issue 1, Page 18).

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In the larger and the more prosperous of Daoist and folk religion temples, and in the temples for Chinese which follow a syncretism of Daoist and Buddhist beliefs, the main altar table is invariably a magnificent piece of furniture, ornately carved.

Placed in front of the main deity, this table is not usually dressed with fabric.

However, often positioned to the side of the main altar or in front of lesser deities are smaller square altar and offerings tables with their frontal surfaces usually decorated in some way...