This ceramic statue of a laughing girl resembles a child version of one of the more common representations of Buddha, the laughing male named Po-Tei. Although the design on her dress looks like the Dharma Wheel – associated with the wheel of rebirth or becoming – she likely doesn’t have anything do with Buddhism.
The goose she’s holding is a clue that she may be Hui Lin, a little slave girl who is at the center of a Chinese New Year story called The Mad Goose & The Tiger Forest. It’s a little like the prince who turned into a frog. The goose, may also represent Anser Cygnoides or “Wild Swan Goose.” In Asia, it has associations similar to what Christians call the “Holy Spirit.”
This laughing girl has sat on a table, some where in my house for at least 25 years. She’s been around for a long time and seen a lot. My favorite thing about this statue is her dimples. In fact, my granddaughter’s dimples resemble this special piece.