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Long-term Exhibitions

Folk Religion in Taiwan

Originally, Taiwan’s anthropologists primarily studied aborigines’ or ethnic minorities’ traditional social structures. In 1965, a transitional period, opening a new chapter in the cultural study of Taiwan’s Han Chinese society, was initiated by Academician Li Yih-yuan, who travelled to Zhanghua county’s Shengang township, conducting field work in Quanzhou Cuo, and by Mr. Wang Sung-hsing, who travelled to Guishan Island in Yilan county. Even though such studies began relatively late, this museum’s collection of relics and research on Han Chinese culture has grown considerably due to the diligence of our colleagues in recent decades.

The present exhibition is based on, and is centered around, the vision of the anthropologists investigating Taiwan’s folk beliefs. The museum’s collection of related artifacts and photographs has been reorganized and reintegrated to provide the public with a more profound understanding, despite the limitations of space, of Taiwan’s ethnic Chinese society’s concept of the world and religious practice.

The exhibition is partitioned into five units. The first two briefly show the development of Taiwan’s imported folk beliefs and the Han Chinese concepts of the supernatural world. Areas three to five are based on the research interests and specialties of each of the co-curators, and analyze Taiwan’s Han folk beliefs from three different points of view: material culture, rituals and practices, and social developments and changes. This exhibition utilizes digital technology to compensate for the limitations of physical space. Such technology will assist visitors in expanding their understanding of this exhibition by exposing them to related information that is not physically present.