Ocean Resources Museum
The Ocean Resources Museum is an affiliated building situated at Penghu County’s Bureau of Culture. The museum itself is divided into two parts: Hall A and B. Hall A features the diversity of Penghu’s marine ecological resources as the bulk of exhibits with contents covering Penghu’s history of oceanic culture, the evolution of marine life forms, Penghu’s coral resources, Penghu archipelago’s geology and terrains, demonstrations on the intertidal zones at Penghu, an interactive education area and various video showing. Hall B focuses on the evolution of the fishing trade in Penghu over the years with contents covering traditional fishing tools, lifestyle as a fisherman in Penghu, the evolution of fishing boats, types of fishing industries in Penghu, the distribution of oceanic products and resources of economic value in Penghu and various methods of hauling, underwater landscape and so forth. The contents of exhibits available at the Ocean Resources Museum are incredibly rich.
Confucius Temple (Aragonite College)
The Confucius Temple in Penghu was formerly the Aragonite College, which was Penghu’s earliest establishment of culture. Situated in the eastern suburbs of Makung City, the Aragonite College was built by the 18th Penghu Magistrate Hu Jian-Wei during the 31st year of Emperor Qianlong’s reign (1767). The college was aptly named due to Penghu’s production of aragonite and it was constructed in the hopes that education and culture in Penghu would be as sturdy and bright as the stone.
Penghu Marine Geopark Center
Penghu Marine Geopark Center was formerly the Makung Tourist Information Center. The building was unused for several years when Typhoon Chebi struck and damaged the roof of the building. Penghu County Government eventually repaired and renovated the building and turned it into Penghu Marine Geopark Center in an effort to promote Penghu geology and her resources of geological landscape to the international stage.
Penghu Martyrs’ Shrine
The Martyrs’ Shrine in Penghu was formerly located on a hill approximately 1km away to the east of Makung City and the south of the Cultural Center. The site is considered a part of Siwun Borough and it used to be Penghu Shrine during the Japanese colonial period. The Martyrs’ Shrine was completed on December 31, 1947 as a venue to commemorate the brave soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for the sake of the nation. There were five martyrs from Penghu: Ou Ching-Shih, Hsu Nan, Wang Yung-Cheng, Chang Fu-Yung and Tsai Mao-Sung. The Shrine has been relocated next to the Cultural Center in an attempt by Penghu County Government to boost the local tourism industry.
There is another display on the third floor of the Living Museum that cannot be missed. It is the Living Memory Wall, which is based on the major events of Penghu and displays related objects, documents or photos to tell the history of Penghu. The wall has been divided into the four stages of Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, the Japanese colonial period, 1945 ~ 1981, when Taiwan was under a military dictatorship and the following development of democracy starting in 1982 and running until the present. The display Penghu’s people, events, places and objects gives tourists a chance to experience the modern history of Penghu. After browsing through the various periods of history and bearing witness to Penghu, you may wish to turn to the round “Penghu Theater.” When you leave the theater, the elegance and warmth of Penghu will be even more memorable.
Education and entertainment
Moving on from the medical display window is the display of Penghu’s education and entertainment. The exhibition demonstrates private school teaching models of the early years and includes the Temple of Scholars’ God, the wire-bound ancient books and the four treasures of the study (writing brushes, ink sticks, paper and ink stones). There is also the resume of Penghu’s scholars, of the Qing Dynasty, that laid out the situation of private school teaching in the early years and the people’s pursuit of fame. After that, through photos and texts of the Japanese colonial period and modern education, the development of Penghu National Education is revealed.
In the leisure and entertainment display, exhibits are based on a picture and explanations of jiggling sandbags, peanut clips, puck and stick, flicking cowry, spinning tops, stealing stone eggs, and go straight chess, to re-shape the wisdom of children, make in the early years of Penghu. Canoeing, windsurfing, surfing and other modern recreational activities, tourism resources around the county and a variety of informational tours highlight the efforts of all walks of life in Penghu to develop the economy by promoting tourism.
Religious artifacts and traditional medicine
After making your way out of the traditional kitchen, you may want to move a few steps forward to check out the model of Wang-an Huazhai village on the second floor. Use the interactive buttons to learn more about the features of the traditional dwelling. When you have satisfied your curiosity about the model, take a look at the window on the left and try to appreciate the deep rooted demand that Penghu folks’ ancestors had for psychological comfort through their beliefs in the supernatural as you check out the exhibits of various items that were used to ward off evil spirits such as the stone tower, the exorcism stone tablet (Shek Cam Dang), the sword-biting lions, the eight-trigram cards. There are also artifacts from Wu-Ying along with various video presentations of Penghu’s rituals to rid malicious paranormal energies.
Continue on, you will see an assortment of exhibits that include a medicine bowl, a small steelyard for weighing medicines, saving books, medical kits, prescriptions, medicine cabinet in TCM stores along with a collection of photographs featuring public hospitals built during the Japanese colonial period. These exhibits will help visitors better understand the hardship that local people have had to endure in getting medical treatment. These exhibits will probably make visitors sympathize with Penghu people’s tradition of seeking consolation through superstitious beliefs.
Sharing the joy that thrives in Penghu residents’ hearts
Entering the museum’s lobby, visitors will be greeted by a pink wall of smiling faces. Every smile reveals an optimistic attitude to life and reflects the true nature of Penghu people. Projected on the smiling faces, the image of Penghu also reveals the complacent spirit of Penghu folks. Visitors are more than welcome to have their smiles featured on the wall as well. Continue on along the curved wall of smiling faces and visitors will encounter a nest of Penghu’s skylarks. If you take a moment to check the little birds that are waiting to be fed, you might hear the brisk songs of the Pescadores Skylark from above.
As you look up, the flock of birds flying by may bring back the memories of one’s childhood in an open grass field. Proceed to the column next to the escalator and you will find a peephole; look through it to find out more about the smiling faces on the column. When you are ready, take the escalator to the second floor to continue on your journey of discovery.
Discovering Penghu in the corridor of time
Go up to the second floor and make your way into the arched “Corridor of Time”. On your right, you will see the models of a Chimei stoneware manufacturing facility along with archaeological artifacts unearthed in Penghu; compass used for navigation, a map of Penghu drawn by the Dutch in late Ming Dynasty, an account of known shipwrecks in the area and pictures of trades, complete with footages of the vessel Jiang Jun I and underwater videos of excavation. These exhibits connect Penghu at different stages in time into a series of historical images. To your left, you will find a true-to-scale replica of Toushi – an ancient Chinese Junk and a miniature of a Dutch ship on display as statements of Penghu’s marine traditions.
As you walk across the glass floor full of the ocean view, you leave behind a trail of waves. The hardship endured by the early settlers and the frustration of having to abandon their homes to earn a living in Taiwan are aptly illustrated on the palette, accompanied by the narration of early settlers’ plight. As the days of hardship and toil came to a close, Penghu witnessed the appearance of buildings in the Mazu Temple area. Visitors will find fascinating displays of items such as contracts during the Japanese colonial period, house number plates, street scene photos, models of sea battles between the Chinese Navy and Koxinga’s fleets and images of the aftermath of bombardment by the Allies’ air force during the Battle of Pacific. These items reveal the trails of different periods in Penghu.
The lifestyle of an average Penghu resident
After making your way through the corridor of history, you will return to life in Penghu, where you can explore the tenacity of the people of Penghu. First of all, the ragged, oddly dressed messengers and the heroic, brilliant and tidy “liangsan man” will lead you to the religious beliefs of the islands. Exhibits include imitation plaques related to the praise of Mazu, Xuan Tian Shang Di (the true Emperor) and Cheng Huang (the City God). There are also photos of three Penghu temples and religious ceremonies, a video on the ceremonies of inviting the king (God), farewell to the king (God) and a little Taoist rewarding the troops. In addition, there are sacrifices, offerings, possessions and Note Offerings (of paper money). The prominent plaques and videos explain all kinds of stories of human-God interaction. Then there are arrangements of sacrificial offerings and models of folk festivals, such as Lantern Festival qigui, Tomb Sweeping Festival, Ghost Festival, and the Winter Solstice Ancestor Worship Festival. There are also interactive displays such as the living calendar picture and narrations that describe the developing years of Penghu.
An lifestyle of excavating the mountains and fishing in the ocean
After leaving the religious section, accompanied by a realistic veiled women, you may make a trip of the Penghu “Agricultural Life.” The word “agriculture” workshop commonly refers to the lands, fields, and forest lands in Penghu, where a variety of plants and animals dwell. A vast green expanse, courtesy of the artist’s brush greets the viewer. In the oil painting, a stretch of ridge “walled farmland” and “dry field” illustrate the vitality of the green, and the farmers are seen driving cows to plow the fields, bending while farming, or raising pigs and cattle. The showcase exhibits old bamboo baskets, rakes, slicing machines, a pig feed tank and other farming implements. In the background are the vague sounds of the whip cracking, yelling and the cattle mooing, creating the illusion of actually being in the scene.
If you look back, you can see a fisherman emerging from the stone weirs. He is harpooning, with his waist bent and head down. Do not underestimate these two dark stone weirs. Known as the stone tidal weirs, they were the most important fishing facility in winter in the early days of Penghu. You can walk in the stone weirs and play with the images of fish, and you can also follow the winding stone tidal weirs to understand our ancestors’ wisdom in stone weirs for fishing. Be careful, but don’t be frightened by the money eel (Gymnothorax favagineus) that is hiding in the stone weirs. At the other side of the wall are models of intertidal mudflat, such as digging for mussels and clams, picking sea snails and inshore fisheries such as fishnet drawing fish with light and longline fishing, and poster outputs of dealings in the fishing markets. Here, you can learn about the many facets of the present and ancient fishing industry in Penghu.
Passing the crowded fish market, there is one large stove in the corner. The people of Penghu call this the “fish stove.” Previously, the fish stove was the processing site of silver anchovy (Spratelloides gracilis), redeye rond herring (Etrumeus terres), and Dried neritic squid throughout Penghu. It was also a major side business for working women to supplement the family income in many fishing villages. There is a large and small bamboo mat, bamboo basket, and fishing trapsthree-stringed instruments, lutes and other musical instruments. There are photos of Bayin, gongs and drums on the ground or hung to dry in the sun. In front of the fish stove, you may smell the “fish fragrance!” Moving on to the third floor you will use your sense of hearing. There are traditional two- and and nanguan. There is also an interactive display of a book of Penghu of songs.
Family affairs in a traditional Penghu dwelling
The display on the third floor focuses on the traditional Penghu house and family affairs. The display is separated into the inside and outside. A wall with the traditional architectural vocabulary of Penghu separates the two. The outside of the Penghu house display shows a fountain, Luban real ruler (gate meter), chisel, spatula, axes and other traditional Penghu construction tools, tiles, ceramic tiles, basalt rocks, Lao Gu Stones (coral stones), clay or soil, and other traditional building materials. Along with some patterns of traditional architecture, all kinds of masonry can be seen. There are also pictures of early people from Penghu preparing materials and the renovation of the old roof illustrates the building history in the early years of Penghu.
Passing through Children and Grandchildren Lane, inside of the wall is an area showing the customs of marriage and childrearing in Penghu. First, to the left of the window are models of sugarcane with leaves, a gratitude basket, sesame ball (glutinous rice dough and peanut butter or red bean paste fillings), guiding chickens, pork knuckles, little grandchild barrels (urinary barrel), and a sedan chair to display the rite of passage to manhood. There is also a bridal chamber, which is furnished with the auspicious red bed and models of the bride and groom in their wedding attire. Other traditional wedding items can also be seen, such as a gossip bamboo ornament, cakes, four-colored plates, wedding buns, and the bride’s peach cakes. This shows the various rites the Penghu people conducted on the Big Day in the early years.
On the right side of the window, there is a model of a pregnant woman carrying a child, which opens the section on bearing children. The various items for new mothers, who were traditionally not allowed out of the house for a month, a Sedan Chair for feeding the baby, a cradle, bathtub, bonnet, shoes as well as traditional foods like oil rice and red eggs are on display. On the wall are photos of shaving the hair at one month old and saliva collection at four months old, as well as the model of “baby picking his future done on the first birthday
The ancestral hall and stove (kitchen)
At the end of the rituals display is a traditional ancestral hall and stove found in traditional houses. The ancestral hall, also known as the divine hall, is the most sacred place in houses. Usually this room has a shrine for the gods and ancestor nameplates. There is also traditionally a candle stand, incense burners, and other ritual objects to perpetuate the link from generation to generation. On top of the wall on both sides of the door of the ancestral hall, a hexagonal beam for a hanging lanterns was often installed whenever a wedding was held; the top of the main door is hung with a red paper reading “Jade Emperor” to be worshiped every morning and evening.
The stove (known as kitchen) is often filled with the unforgettable tastes and smells of food made by mother or grandmother. In the early years, inside the average family’s stove was a main stove and a rice stove. This was used to cook meals as well as, cook and stew pastries and offerings for special occasions. It could even be used to cook feed for the poultry and livestock. In addition to a steamer, cupboards, table, stools, a number of items were kept on hand for building and keeping the fire - peanut shells, sorghum, branches of white popinac (Leucaena leucocephala), cow dung cakes and other flammable items could all be used
Featuring the “Love for Penghu Island” video presentation, coupled with relevant cultural items, light effects and narration of a dialogue of young people’s sentiments for Penghu’s development.
No.230, Jhonghua Rd., Magong City, Penghu County 880, Taiwan (R.O.C.) [Map]
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