Mazu has been a popular goddess offering protection to Chinese seafarers since at least the 10th century CE. Often, crews who have narrowly escaped sinking during a storm report that, when the tempest was at its most terrifying, Mazu’s spirit guided them to safety. Kublai Khan bestowed upon her the title of Tianhou, Queen of Heaven, in 1278, apparently in hopes of currying favor among the coastal population of Southeast China. As Queen of Heaven, she is subordinate only to the Jade Emperor in the Daoist pantheon.