Chinese Folk Deities
One common type of Chinese deity is the "place god" or T'u-ti (Pinyin: Tudi). The primary characteristic of a place god is the limitation of his jurisdiction to a specific location, like a bridge, home, street, or field. A T'u-ti is always subject to the Ch'eng Huang, the spiritual magistrate of the city.
A T'u-ti is often a deified historical person who had assisted a specific community during his lifetime. It is believed that if the person is deified and sacrificed to, he will be moved to continue his assistance from the spirit world. If misfortunes occur in a location dedicated to a T'u-ti, the T'u-ti is believed to have lost interest and a new patron is chosen.
"T'u-ti." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2005. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. <http://www.britannica.com/eb/article?tocId=9073651>.