The belief of Matsu in Hakka－Tianhou temple in Tongluo Miaoli.
|關鍵字:||客家;銅鑼;媽祖信仰;天神良福;Hakka;Tongluo;belief in Matsu;gods’ blessings|
The Tianhou Temple of Tongluo Township, Miaoli County, is the subject of this study. Through document exploration and field research, it can be found that the spiritual beliefs in this Hakka community feature a dualistic system that integrates the belief in Matsu and other gods’ blessings. Tongluo Township has more hills than plains, yet agriculture has always been the main economic source for the Hakka residents. Tongluo Village, Fusing Village and Jhaoyang Village possess the most plains, and the Tianhou Temple is built in the populous Fusing Village. Fusing Street, where the temple is located, was developed from a village into a small town during the reign of Chiaching (1796-1820 A.D.) in the Ching Dynasty. Even until the 12th year of the reign of Kuanghsu (1886 A.D.), the organization responsible for the cultivation of Tongluowan still existed, which means the people had neither permanently settled in the area nor been assimilated among the natives. However, it is believed that the Tianhou Temple had established its status during the Ching Dynasty. The residents of Tongluo Township are mostly Hakka, 90% of whose ancestors came from Guangdong Province. They mainly speak Hakka with the “four-county accent.” The research methods of this paper include: document exploration, field research and comparative study. Documents such as: local chronicles, family trees, inscriptions on tablets, population statistics, and studies on local temples, were explored. In addition, the researcher of this study spent a long time recording the Tongluo residents’ spiritual beliefs, participating in the Tianhou Temple’s year-round sacrificial ceremonies, and interviewing people from all walks of life in Tongluo Township or Baishatun of Tongsiao Township. Furthermore, the comparative method of cultural anthropology is applied to comparing the Minnan society with the Hakka society in Miaoli. This method is helpful in comparing the universal and particular aspects of Matsu culture in the two main areas of Miaoli. Comparison is an important method employed in anthropology to study the common traits of humans, make statements more emphatic, and acquire more persuasive research results. For more than one hundred years, the Tianhou Temple, the center of the spiritual beliefs in Tongluo, has held numerous sacrificial ceremonies to mobilize the local people and bring everybody together. However, the belief in Matsu varies from area to area. After comparing the Minnan society with the Hakka society in Miaoli, it was found that the composition of the beliefs differ in Matsu in Tongluo and Baishatun. The Hakka people of Tongluo not only believe in Matsu but also in the god blessing ceremony in which the Jade Emperor (Yuhuang Dadi) is the principal deity. Therefore, the Tongluo Tianhou Temple stands for a distinctive dual system that transcends the ritualistic worship of Matsu alone.