Although it is one of Taiwan’s earliest settled regions, Chiayi County’s Puzih City (朴子) does not have a lot of documented history, a fact that companies and organizations in the Dalangkang (大?榔) area are attempting to correct through field studies.
The Rihsin Cultural Association, Bean Creative Workshop and Doudian (豆點), founder of the Dalangkang Sibao (西堡) History and Social Workshop, yesterday held a news conference to disclose their findings.
Bean Creative Workshop employee Chen Yi-wen (陳薏雯) said that with former residents returning to the town to attend events, the workshop is having them share stories about the town’s past, as well as interviewing elderly people.
The Dalangkang area has more than 400 years of history, Rihsin Cultural Association director Chen Chun-che (陳俊哲) said, adding that residents of the area opposed the Qing Dynasty.
Local brothers Tu Lung (涂龍) and Tu Hu (涂虎) fought alongside Lin Shuang-wen (林爽文) in his 1787 uprising against the Qing, Chen Chun-che said, adding that locals in 1809 also helped pirate Tsai Chien (蔡牽) fight the dynasty.
Despite its rich history, the area has little documented history, Chen Chun-che said, citing a field study to determine the origin of the Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese) phrase “Waters flow east, wife feeds the husband.”
A consultation of old maps and land records showed that the river in the Dalangkang village flowed eastward and surrounded the village, Chen Chun-che said.
Being surrounded by water made the residents wealthy and made the town easy to defend, Chen Chun-che said, adding that the locals were wealthy enough to secure development charters from the Qing government and hire people to develop local land.
The Hoklo saying not only represents the local geography, but also depicts how the residents were wealthy enough that the men did not need to work and their wives needed to do nothing but feed their husbands, Chen Chun-che said.
Conducting interviews until Sept. 15, the organizations hope to gather enough material to publish a local history, Chen Chun-che said, adding that he hopes the project will encourage other areas to join in.
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