1. Description of Our Community
Our community, “Fanpo Village”, is located in Fuhsing Township, Changhua County. The development of Fanpo Village is concentrated along Changlu Road. The land once belonged to the Babuza of the Mazlan Tribe. Later some of the women of the Plains aborigines also called “fanpo, continued to reside here. This is how our village got its name. The major public facilities of the village are Rixin Elementary School, and temples; such as Long Hsing Temple, Sheng De Temple, and Hsuan Cheng Temple. The local residents mostly worked in the agriculture industry. The community’s major transportation route is Changlu Road. The community is close to the “second Lu” (Lukang) of the three most prominent places in Taiwan; first Fu, second Lu, and third Monga. In the early days, shops stood along the two sides of Zhongshan Road of Lukang Township; especially shops of Buddhist woodworks and holy palanquins. Later due to the expansion of Changlu Road and that it’s also the main road to Lukang Township from Changhua City, the merchants of Buddhist woodworks and holy palanquins moved their business to Changlu Road. In fact, there are about eight to nine ancestral table and holy palanquin shops around our community. Furthermore, the holy palanquin shops are all owned by descendants of the Chen Clan. The business of holy palanquins has become a stronghold for Fanpo Village and it is also important to the business of the art and cultural industry.
2. Summary of Our Project
Every year the holy palanquins play important roles in temple festivals and pilgrimage parades. It’s as if the palanquins were the gods’ private vehicles and the believers the gods’ private chauffeurs; taking the gods out for a ride. The sense of prestige is tremendous. Along the way, believers welcomed their gods by setting off firecrackers, worshiping with incenses in their hands, and crawling under the palanquins. They hope their gods would bring peace and good health to their entire family. Just like a car has different brands, prices, styles, and features, a holy palanquin also comes in different sizes and styles. The palanquins can always attract our curiosity, and the part about them that truly caught our attention is the exquisiteness of the carvings on them. Driven by curiosity and in the hope to take a glimpse of the secrets behind holy palanquins, students and teachers of our school established the “Holy Palanquin Exploration Team.” Luckily, the road where our school stood, Changlu Road, has eleven holy palanquin shops. Furthermore, nine out of the elven shops were owned by the Chen Clan who has a shop across from our school. This brought us closer to the world of the holy palanquins, and we were able to search for the origin of the palanquin, its carvings, and its symbolic meaning. We wish to contribute to the carrying on of this traditional local art craft.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:2-3
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
(1) Through the past six months the amount of materials we’ve obtained from visits of various events is tremendous. We had written records, pictures, films, and sound recordings, and to put all these materials into the PPT form we use for webpage and presentation is extremely difficult. (2) While making our own holy palanquin, we noticed that when using corrugated cardboard and other materials the palanquin collapses easily. Luckily the father of one of our classmates is a carpenter, and through his help we were able to use other forms of materials to successfully complete the palanquin. On top of that, the decorations on the palanquin fall off easily. With the advice of our teacher we were able to solve the problem by applying the latching concept to it. (3) When we begin to look over the interview photos we’ve taken, we noticed that a lot of the photos taken were inappropriate. From this we learned that before taking a photo we must first take note of the main subject and the theme of the photo. This way we will have less chance of taking bad photos. (4) We had no interview experience; needless to say any knowledge of interview script writing skills. Luckily the school invited a reporter to instruct us on the techniques of interviews and the main points in writing interview scripts.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
The students and parents of the entire school were given a chance to get to know how this deeply rooted industry presented art through the beauty of its carvings. We also hope that through the international Cyberfair, the whole world would know the existence of such beautiful artistry in Taiwan.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
1. Art & Culture: (1) We saw the workmanship of the holy palanquin masters, and the various designs of the palanquin. We also visited the Lukang Folk Arts Museum and here we realized that the art of carving id admirable. (2)The entire school took part in the making of the recycled holy palanquin. The middle grade students made mini holy statues out of paper clay. Also all members of the school made cards of gratitude together. 2. Language Art: We learned how to make an interview script, how to conduct an interview, and how to transform verbal materials and other forms of information into a written comprehensive piece of work. 3. Mathematics: We learned the concept of proportion and how to use a scale. We also learned the geometrical concepts of a cone and a cylinder. 4. Social Studies: We got to know our hometown and the people of our community. We recognized our relationship with the community. By seeing the Matzu pilgrimage parade, we gained a deeper knowledge of the cultural religion. 5. Health and Physical Education: In order to take part in a community street parade one must be physical fit. Therefore, we trained ourselves continuously. 6. Comprehensive In the past 6 months the various activities and events which we’ve done together had bonded us even closer. In fact we were like a family. Furthermore, we’ve learned to work more efficiently as a team, and have realized the true meaning of teamwork.