The Formation of Local Society in Upstream of Houlong River：A Study on the Namheng Temple in Zhumu Village of Shihtan County, Taiwan.
|關鍵字:||後龍溪上游;地域社會;獅潭;祭祀圈;祭祀社群;地方自性;Upstream of Houlong River;local society;Shihtan;religious sphere;worship community;locality|
ABSTRACT This study based on the religious sphere, worship community, local society, locality theories, by contemporary worship activities about Kuanti, Mazu, Heaven gods, witchery and thanks of a blessing which were in the Namheng Temple in Zhumu Village of Shihtan in Miaoli County to investigate the construction process of local society in South Shihtan. At the same time, we combined the scholar's research result in northern Shihtan and northern Dahu , and overviewed the construction of local society in upstream of Houlong River. First, this study collected contemporary worship activities information in the Namheng Temple by field work and participant observation. According to the index of religious sphere and the concept of worship community, we draw the Kuanti, Mazu and Heaven gods beliefs formed the three different worship spheres. We found that a high degree of overlap of the three, and it was similar to the religious sphere concept. If observed this result by the worship community concept, the group members in local Heaven gods, Kuanti, Mazu three worshiping groups with high overlap membership and high interaction to participate in worship activities. The worship community with high intensity community strength, enabled Zhumu villagers to become a regional community. However, parts of the three did not overlap, but implied a more profound theoretical significance, also worth exploring. Second, this study used the document analysis to review the early settlement history of Jin Yong Chang organization led by Liu Qi Guang in the late nineteenth century. We can construct the construction process of local society in the Namheng Temple via the land developing organization and the worship organization. This construction process for four：The first period was the early settlers（1884~1897）, the land developing organization closely linked the relationship between people and land. The second period was the formation of faith（1897~1917）, the formation of the local beliefs which included Heaven gods belief and Kuanti belief and Mazu belief. In this phase, the cultural boundaries beyond the geographical boundaries, and the worship sphere was about the same as the land developing sphere of the first period. This is today’s Matzu religious sphere. The third period for redrawing administrative region（1918~1920）, the national force had original region to divide into two administrative units. And the impact to the land developing organization on residents weakened, the residents paid more attention to the geographical boundaries. So, Kuanti religious sphere was formed. The fourth period was about sixties and seventies of the Republic of China, the incense burners of Heaven gods were integrated into the one which in the Namheng Temple. It meant that the integration of land within settlements. This region was the most central and most integrated part of the local society in the Namheng Temple. All in all, with the concept of worship community, it was really able to more finely analyze this religious sphere phenomenon on the beliefs of the Namheng Temple. However, this study considered it is necessary to increase the historical geography of the regional social vision, then it would be more sufficient to explain the phenomenon of long-term changes in worship community. Keywords：Upstream of Houlong River, local society, religious sphere, worship community, locality
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