2nd Special Exhibition Hall - Taiwan Hakka Museum-Have Fun in the Hakka Settlement: Miaoli
Miaoli County is a prominent stronghold for the Hakka group in Taiwan, sparse Fujian and Guangdong emigrants moved to Taiwan across the seas from the end of Ming Dynasty to the beginning of Qing Dynasty, afterwards reaching at the peak in number of the Hakka immigrants to Taiwan during the reign of emperor Qianlong. Miaoli is rich in raw mineral materials including clay soil and silica sands etc., as well as abounds with fuel reserves such as natural gas, coal and firewood, as a result, it becomes the district which possesses the most old kilns in Taiwan. In addition, the Hakka tradition of respecting the Heaven and cherishing the land has developed into the festival activities, for instance, “the Dragon Bombing event in Miaoli” and “the festival of the 8th day of the fourth lunar month in Toufen” and so on; furthermore, the Hakka group managed to adapt themselves to different natural environments they encountered, integrating Hakka dietary culture into their daily life, and cultivating various crops, which fully manifests the Hakka characteristics of perseverance and resilience for overcoming difficulties and striving for better life.
One: About Miaoli
The former name of Miaoli was Pali. It is located at the central northern Taiwan with more mountainous areas than plains, where the terrains could be illustrated in an orderly manner as follows: plains, hills, plateaus and mountain ranges; the Hakka group accounts for around 65 percent of the total population in Miaoli county, which is worthy of the name, Hakka Top County.
From the development of the irrigation canal system, we could discover solidarity and voluntary cooperation among the Hakka ancestors; from the Hakka stone fence designed for defense reasons, we could understand the hardships in the reclamation era; step by step, we trace the memories of the reclamation period along with the footprints of the ancestors.
Three: Dragon Dance and Parading: The festivals in Miaoli
Hakka people always maintain the tradition of respecting the Heaven and cherishing the land, for example, “the Dragon Bombing event” and “the festival of the 8th day of the fourth lunar month in Toufen” are both iconic traditional activities in the Miaoli area. They not only have the meanings of welcoming the new arrivals, eliminating disasters and wishing a blessed, easy and comfortable life, but also carry the profound connotation of preserving traditional customs and passing down the culture.
Four: Transform the Earth into Gold - The Ceramic Industry
Miaoli is richly endowed with natural resources, abundant in raw mineral materials including clay soil and silica sands etc., as well as affluent in fuel resources such as natural gas, coal and firewood, therefore, the ceramic industry thrived in Miaoli from the Qing Dynasty. Many kiln factories not only retain the traditional ceramic technology with firewood, but also endeavor to promote traditional kilns, as well as incorporate innovation into the tradition, transfer the kiln factories into the tourism and culture industries, and repolish the title, the hometown of the ceramics.
Five: Beautiful Landscapes and Good Products – The Local Specialties of Miaoli
Miaoli was esteemed as the county of agriculture and the rice producing area in Taiwan in the past, and also one of the main regions Hakka people reside. The Hakka group fits in diverse natural conditions including terrains, climates and properties of soil etc., integrating Hakka dietary culture into their daily life, and creating unique local specialties.