HOLY PIG : The Aesthetics of Holiness 神豬的神聖美學

- Documentary 00:21:13

The earliest documents of the holy pig custom date back more than 200 years. Before Japanese rule, the custom was no more than a sacrifice ritual offering large pigs to deities. The Japanese government, after taking over Taiwan, modernized cultivation and animal farming in order to boost the production of the colony. Around 1910, the colonial government took notice of the sacrifice rituals of large pigs and got involved in the holy pig festival of the Yimin temple in Xinpu. The competition for the heaviest pigs was hosted and covered by newspapers, offering prize money and awards. The prize-winners were motivated to share their husbandry knowledge with pig farmers. The competition has ever since become a part of the ritual. In the past 100 years, the custom underwent a tremendous change in all aspects including breeding, feeding and the final presentation. The quality of large and heavy became a holy symbol. A new religious aesthetics was established and blended with new elements to create a unique sacrifice ritual.

Holy Pig: The Aesthetics of Holiness focuses on the large and heavy aspect of the evolving holy pig custom. How the believers manifest the concept of “holiness” and “aesthetics” with the use of modern materials and in the presentation. And the myths and symbols that are hidden in the custom.

神豬文化在台灣的文獻記載上已有2百多年歷史,早期的大豬祭祀僅單純以較大的豬隻獻給神靈為主,直到日本殖民時期為了增加殖民經濟的產能,因而實行各種農業改革;從作物到畜牧業皆大興技術上現代化。1910年左右日本政府發現了台灣的大豬祭祀文化,便介入新埔義民廟的神豬普渡,附加了豬隻重量的競賽並賜予獎金、獎狀、與報紙的報導,鼓勵豬農與獲獎信徒交流飼養技術。自此之後,神豬競重成為了儀式的一部分,一百年來,各個環節漸漸因此演化出巨大的改變;從育種、飼養方式、甚至到最後祭祀的展現形式, 「大」和「重」成為了神性的代表,更融合了新材料與台灣民俗宗教美學創造出獨特的祭祀文化。


January, 2020