The Bestowed Ancestor is the official leader of the Quincunx. The Bestowed Ancestor is the voice, the heart and the spirit of all Wan Kuei committed to the Quincunx, speaking with all the power it implies. His word is law and he is the ultimate authority and final arbiter of any dispute. His ceremonial duty is representing the Quincunx within the Celestial Bureaucracy and to honor the dragon-spirits. He is elected by the August Ancestors, who also act as his ministers during his duty.

Wan Kuei who assume the Bestowed Ancestorship are often beings of tremendous personal and political power. Bestowed Ancestors may serve as little as a year or as long as a century, depending on the circumstances for vacating a post. The most common cause is retirement, especially when their next step is becoming bodhisattva, who have little interest in the political existences and fortunes of other Kuei-jin. Some Bestowed Ancestors actually experience den in office, realizing that the Quincunx’s concerns are no longer theirs.

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