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臺北市松山區松山慈祐宮天上聖母(陳美華攝)

臺灣最普遍信仰的神衹之一,也是臺灣的第一女神。媽祖本名林默,因是女性,所以稱為默娘。林默是福建莆田湄洲嶼人,父林愿,母王氏,應是漁村之女,傳說生前就有法術,因此也有媽祖是巫女的說法;在生前便有海上救難的靈驗事蹟,死後為鄉民崇祀以求慈祐。自1123年(宋宣和5年)以來,歷敕封不下30次,最後一次封號是1857年(咸豐7年)所封,計六十四字,封號為「護國庇民妙靈昭應宏仁普濟福佑群生誠感咸孚顯神贊順垂慈篤祐安瀾利運澤覃海宇恬波宣惠道流衍慶靖洋錫祉恩周德溥衛漕保泰振武綏疆天后之神」。
媽祖火傳到臺灣地區,應肇始於明曆年間創建的澎湖天后宮,其後台南鹽水護庇宮(1623)、嘉義布袋太聖宮(1644)、鹿港天后宮(1647)、新竹天后宮(1661)等陸續創建於明末。清初創建的宇有原寧靖王府邸改祀天后的臺南大天后宮(1683)、東石港港口宮(1684)、朴子配天宮(1684)、麥寮拱範宮(1685)、新莊慈祐宮(1686)、旗津天后宮(1691)、笨港天后宮(1694)等陸續創建,現今蔚為區域性媽祖信仰中心者有北投關渡宮、彰化南瑤宮、大甲鎮瀾宮、苗栗拱天宮等。
        媽祖像的造型多頭戴后冠,坐姿。千里眼、順風耳是祂的隨侍。鹿港天后宮媽祖像裡的二媽,是目前僅存的湄洲開基媽祖像,因為經年累月的煙薰,黑部成為黑色,又稱黑面媽。
媽祖的神號是天上聖母,或稱天后、天妃、聖母,信徒常暱稱為媽祖婆。林姓信徒有時直呼為「祖姑婆」、「姑婆祖」。媽祖的分身有時是三尊,稱為大媽、二媽、三媽,有時一分為六,在台灣也有八媽的分法,不過仍以三媽和六媽的系統居多。媽祖稱為天后宮者,昔日多為官建之官;清瓦解後,今已成民,但仍不改其稱,民性質的媽祖仍居大多數,也有許多有神無的媽祖祭祀組織,如雲林地區的六房媽、新社地區的九庄媽、東保十八庄媽祖、林姓廿四庄私媽祖會等存在於民間。
        媽祖最初本是海神,以中國大陸東南沿海居民為主要信仰族群向其它地區擴散。移民渡海臺灣之初,亦需要媽祖保佑海上航行安全,但渡海後隨著農業生活的開展與向山區拓墾,媽祖也因應人們生活的需要而有掃溪路(水災時水順著插路徑引至村外)、趕稻蟲的靈驗事蹟。所以媽祖除早的痾港口媽外,也出現內山媽,顯示媽祖已由海神信仰轉為農業神和水利神的性格。在文化意義上,傳統漢人社會是父系社會,女神媽祖之信仰彰顯出女性在父系社會中所扮演的連結作用。

 

臺南市後壁區泰安宮天上聖母(蕭翔文攝)


 
關鍵詞: 女神,海神,靈驗,,信仰圈
female deity,sea god,magical power,pilgrim tour,regional cult
 
壽。2000。《臺灣的媽祖信仰》。臺北:臺原出版社。
林美容。2006。《媽祖信仰與台灣社會》。臺北:博揚文化。
張珣。2003。《文化媽祖:臺灣媽祖信仰研究論文集臺北:中央研究院民族學研究所。
徐曉望。 2007。《媽祖信仰史研究》。福州:海風出版社。
Sangren, P. Steven.1987.  “History and magical power in a Chinese community”Sanford, Calif.
Stanford University Press.

Mazu(媽祖) is one of the most popular goddess in Taiwan. Tianshang shengmu (天上聖母) is one of her religious title. Mazu was a woman named Lin Mo (林默) originally in Song dynasty. She was born in an island closed to Putian, Fujian province named Meizhou(湄洲). Her father is Lin Yuan (林愿) and mother’s surname is Wang. It is believed that Mazu was a medium and had talents on thaumaturgical ritual. When she was alive, people believed that she saved sailors when they were in shipwreck. After she was dead, people worship to her for blessing. By 1123, Lin Moniang as a goddess in popular religion was titled officially. The last time she got an official title which is the longest among all of her titles in 1857. There are sixty four characters in the title. The title is Huguo Bimin Miaoling Zhaoying Hongren Puji Fuyou Qunsheng Chenggan Xianfu Xianshen Zanshun Chuici Youan Lanli Yunze Qinhaiyu Tianpo Xuanhui Daoliuyan Qingjing Yangxizhi Enzhou Depu Weicao Baotai Zhenwu Suijiang Tianhou zhi Shen (護國庇民妙靈昭應宏仁普濟福佑群生誠感咸孚顯神贊順垂慈篤祐安瀾利運澤覃海宇恬波宣惠道流衍慶靖洋錫祉恩周德溥衛漕保泰振武綏疆天后之神). Most of these sixty four characters are prasing Mazu’s benevolent blessing.
The belief on Mazu propagated to Taiwan by Ming dynasty. The first temple dedicated to Mazu was established on the Penghu islands (澎湖). Later, during the period of 1623 to 1661, there were about four Mazu temples established in Yanshui (鹽水), Budai (布袋), Lugang (鹿港) and Xinzhu (新竹) along the west coast of Taiwan. When Taiwan was under the reign of Qing, the palace of Ningjing wang (寧靖王府) was refurniturated as a Mazu temple, now as Great Queen of Heaven Temple (大天后宮). There were established more Mazu temples than before. Today, among those Mazu temples, the Guandu templ (關渡宮) in Taipei, the Nanyao temple (南瑤宮) in Zhanghua (彰化), the Zhenlan temple (鎮瀾宮) in Taichung (台中) and the Gongtian temple (拱天宮) in Miaoli are important regional Mazu temples. The temples of Mazu established by official were mainly called Tianhou gong (天后宮), Temple of Divine Empress. Today, all of the Mazu temples are non-government established and managed. However, the title Tianhou gong is remained. There are also some groups or associations devoted to Mazu without establishing any temple. For example, the Liufang ma (六房媽) in Yunlin (雲林), the Jiuzhuang ma (九庄媽) around Xinshe (新社) are these kinds of devotion group.  
The figure of Mazu’s statue is often in a style of empress who wears a Chinese crown and sits. She has two servant named Qianli yan (千里眼) and Shunfeng er (順風耳). A statue in the Tianhou temple of Lugang is believed to be the oldest one. Because the smoke of incense influence for years, her face becomes dark. Now she is called Heimian Ma (黑面媽), the Madam with dark face. Mazu’s statue also has some Doppelgänger, the tangible double of her statue, in some areas. The number is three, six or eight. Often it is three or six.
Mazu’s title are various. She is also called Tianhou (天后), Tianfei (天妃) or Shengmu (聖母). The devotees call her Mazu po (媽祖婆) intimately. The devotees whose surname is Lin call her Zugu po (祖姑婆)or Gupo zu (姑婆祖), meaning the Great Grandaunt.
At first, Mazu was as a sea goddess worshiped by people and sailor. In Taiwan, early migrants from Fujian also worshiped to Mazu for blessing them on crossing the Taiwan strait. When they settled from the coast area to the inner land of Taiwan, Mazu was still as a goddess blessing their farm work. Apparently, Mazu transformed from a sea goddess to a farm goddess. As a farm goddess, she also plays a role in preventing the farm from flood and the damaging of insect pest.
       
Keywords: female deity,sea god,magical power,pilgrim tour,regional cult
 
壽。2000。《臺灣的媽祖信仰》。臺北:臺原出版社。
林美容。2006。《媽祖信仰與台灣社會》。臺北:博揚文化。
張珣。2003。《文化媽祖:臺灣媽祖信仰研究論文集臺北:中央研究院民族學研究所。
徐曉望。 2007。《媽祖信仰史研究》。福州:海風出版社。
Sangren, P. Steven.1987.  “History and magical power in a Chinese community”Sanford, Calif. Stanford University Press
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