The traditional Penghu folklore craft includes stone protector, coral handicraft, mottle stone handicraft, bamboo strip weavings, straw sandals, cattle vehicles, wooden carvings, paper glue, sugar lion, chicken mother dog, iron forge, basalt engrave, and two-kan incense pass.
There has been long history for Chinese people to keep the custom to set a stone to keep evil spirit away and it is the same in china and Taiwan. But there is no other place like Penghu where stone protectors are so intensively set. The reason is because the Penghu people are mostly immigrants and they are always exposed to danger for the special landform of Penghu. Therefore, people there tend to believe in ghosts and gods more and set stone protector everywhere in Penghu to keep danger away from them. Therefore, stone protectors become one of the important landmark and folklore craft there.
Coral handicraftis a very important industry in Penghu and people there has started to pick coral since 1921. After restoration, under governmental rewarding, the coral industry is even better developed. Coral carving is a huge feature of Penghu. The way it is carved and the idea used have both directly influenced the industries later developed such as mottle stone and shell processing industry. However, coral industry has dropped since 1981 and many craftsmen are therefore transferred to other businesses.
Mottle stone craft
Penghu has earned its reputation by its mottle stones. Business people in Penghu call their mottle stone the only competiton to the mottle stone in Italy in the world and theirs are better. The processing of mottle stones are the same as coral and craftsmen sometimes add seal cutting on mottle stone which make it important handicraft in Penghu.
Bamboo strip weavings
Penghu bamboo strip weavings are from the living habits of southern Fuchien people who like to use bamboo to make things. It was also a common thing for Penghu fishers and farmers to make utensils by using bamboo. The fishing gear made by bamboo strip weaving at old times was called "Huo". Also they made baskets for farming and shell picking too. And the only Penghu jandicraft that has ever won prize is the bamboo strip weaving hat. Unfortunately, with the time changing and the bamboo resources being cut off, the Penghu people has been losing this handicraft.
Chicken mother dog is a rice made food which will be made in winter or for important festivals to celebrate as a sacrificial offering. This rice carving art is simple and plain. It may not present the fancy molding as pinch dough figures, but it really keeps its simple nature. This handicraft does reveal the ingenuous personality of Penghu people.
In the past, iron forge industry was the engine industry to the traditional farming industry. Because the farming gears they used were more narrow and sharper to deal with the harder soil. In recent years, with farming and fishing businesses deserted gradually, and with the big iron factories in production coming more and more, pure handiwork iron forge can never compete with them. Now most iron forge shops only repair fishing and farming gears for people.
Penghu people loved to pick up basalt around them and engrave them into living utensils including stone mill, mortar or livestock food trough. Lately, traditional stone engraving gas developed its new features. Craftsmen engraved stones into shapes like Penghu snake melon, groupers or pumpkins. Tourists love these engravings.
Erkan incense pass
This is a self-developed mosquito repellent by director-general Zong-Yi Chen of Erkan association. The raw material includes Penghu blanket flower, hill hibiscus, and Chinese mugwort. They are called the three treasures of Penghu. To carry out the ideal of protecting biological environment, only the stems and leaves are taken and the roots will be left to grow. The stems and leaves will be made into powder after dried and then rubbed into pillar incense to light up for mosquito repellenting. This is indeed a very creative, and restoring invention. The base of incense is made by china clay with the shape like the ancient Penghu little boat.
With simple training, pillar incenses and base clay boat can be made at home. They are indeed very culturally creative products in Penghu.
Folklore snack and specialty
The soil, climate and special island landform of Penghu all creat a very interesting food and drink culture. They include:
Salty cucumber elephant fish, salty cucumber rice, balloonfish hide slice, fresh squid, fresh fish slice, cold spiral shells dressed with sauce, steamed grouper without sauce, steamed nine aperture and ginseng beard, steamed sea bug, white vinegar tubule, phoenix spiral shell, bell spiral shell, sand crab, sand shrimp, sea urchin, octopus, fried fish, fried spray, pickled cabbage, laver fish ball soup, and seaweed egg soup.
Rice and noodle
Round flour balls, fried jujube, green cocoon, rice balls, golden melon rice flour, laver bean noodle, fish noodle.
Beans and vegetables
Fried loofah, peanuts, red heart peanuts, salty cookies (non-vegetarian and vegetarian), squash cake, peanut candy, butter peanut candy, black sugar cake, west isle sweet potatoes cake, butter peanut crisp and laver peanut candy.
Various kinds of bottled fish , shell and laver sauce with salt. Also cactus jelly is available.
The ice-cream flavors created by Penghu people are really unique, too. They include: cactus fruit, leaves and flower ice-cream, laver flavor, hami melon flavor, aloe flavor.