Temple in Taiwan mints NFTs for Mazu, the sea goddess
The Temple in Taiwan has recently introduced a new aspect to its centuries-old traditions by minting NFTs featuring Mazu, the Sea Goddess. These NFTs are being traded as part of the temple’s web 3.0 activities.
Dajia Jenn Lann Temple buys into blockchain technology
One of the many religious figures in China, Mazu, the Chinese sea goddess, is especially popular in Taiwan and has been worshipped by many Chinese people worldwide for centuries.
‘The Dajia Jenn Lann Temple’, a temple in Taichung routinely organizes annual pilgrimages. These pilgrimages are 300 kilometers long and nine days long, with a statue of the goddess that attracts a lot of worshipers. Moreover, these expeditions and other festivals join to form the ‘Mazu Economy.’
The Mazu Economy refers to donations and currencies spent on Mazu goods and business opportunities related to religion. Now, the temple sells and mints the Sea Goddess’ NFTs that serve as a priority pass for the pilgrimage in the spring of every year.
In August this year, the MazuDAO NFTs went on sale through the temple’s e-commerce platform for US$615(NT%18,880).
Commenting on the development, Mingkun Cheng, the executive vice chair of the temple, said that the pilgrimages generate considerable expenses. He also acknowledged a surge of new followers joining them when Maze returned to the home temple. Many new followers are young, so the MazuDAO NFTs aims to appeal to them in an innovative way.
However, some many older followers need more convincing of the technological developments as most do not own or even operate smartphones. Alternatively, they prefer the physical touch and direct contact with the statue. There are uncertainties about the deities’ presence online to hear their prayers.
Since the pilgrimage priority pass does not appeal to the older generation, the NFT project team organized offline marketing campaigns. An offline campaign is an approach that differs from other NFT projects that prioritize online marketing. During the offline marketing campaigns, they set up physical booths by the temple and introduced the MazuDAO NFTs to the older followers.
Commercialization of Mazu religion
Mazu is a big business enterprise in Taiwan, and with blockchain, its operations could get even more significant. Mao-Hsien Lin, an associate professor and researcher on the Mazu religion says that Mazu has become a highly commercialized intellectual property in Taiwan. Mazu goods are present in convenience stores and major online shopping sites.
Cheng also supported the claim that many young people join the pilgrimage every year, thus raising its popularity on different social media platforms, especially YouTube. He added that the temple had authorized some online enterprises to use its Mazu intellectual property to list goods for sale on its e-commerce platform.
However, Lin said it is not good if the religion is highly commercialized as a large part of religion’s role is to offer believers mental comfort. “If we see divinity as a business generator, it loses its divinity,” he added.