The Wang Ye are a class of gods whose worship has spread across a wide range thanks to emigration from Southeast China, where belief in them originates. From here in Taiwan all the way to Malaysia, people believe that the Wang Ye come to towns at regular intervals on the Jade Emperor’s business, to inspect conditions, expel evil, and report back on what they’ve seen. This is the basic idea, but as an ongoing exhibit at the National Museum of Taiwan History shows, belief in these gods is complicated.There is a huge number of them, many with their own backstories. Many regions only worship a few of them, and the ways in which they’re welcomed to earth can have hyperlocal variations. Here to uncomplicate the Wang Ye and their worship in Taiwan is museum researcher Chang Ying-chih.