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虎爺(Huye)
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嘉義縣新港鄉奉天宮開基虎爺(蕭翔文攝)

虎爺是民間宗教裡各種動物神的一類,以老虎為神祇。虎爺多以配祀神的身份供奉於中,是許多民間神祇的座騎。諸如土地公、保生大帝、西秦王爺、財神趙公明、道教祖師張天師等等,皆由老虎充當腳力。只有很少數的宇以為主祀神,且多出現在中南部地區,如嘉義、台中等地區,其中有許多為新興者。由於虎爺為配祀神,多陳設於宇中的神案下,扮演驅邪和守護信仰者財物的角色。儘管虎爺地位不高,普及程度不下於任何神祗,不論大小,主祀神祇不論流行與否,虎爺隨各種主神遍及各地宇之中,其中又以福德正神為最。由於虎爺是許多神祇的配祀神,這些「廣義」的虎爺,會隨著崇祀的地區、主祀神、或自己作為主祀神、相關傳說等等不同情況,各有不同稱呼,諸如「天虎將軍」、飛虎將軍」、「山軍尊神」、「地虎將軍」、「金虎將軍」、「下元帥」、「下將軍」、「黑虎將軍」、「虎狀元」等,顯然這些稱呼與虎爺一般,都是老虎作為神祇的擬人化稱呼。
虎爺的信仰和老虎產生的相關文化有密切關係。由於台灣並非老虎的原生地,虎爺的形象、概念等等殆無疑問源於中國大陸。臺灣各地遍傳的老虎相關文化、習俗等,多由漢人傳入台灣。中國大陸與老虎相關的文化、禁忌、傳說,歷史久遠而概念複雜,例如西元前六千年的良渚文化遺址裡,人類即以蚌殼排列作龍虎形葬於死者旁;漢人重要的女神西王母在《山海經》裡的造型有虎尾;流傳甚廣的四獸之一即有代表西方的白虎;還有人人皆知十二生肖中的老虎,也形成有相關的俗禁忌,例如婚喪儀節裡有時對生肖屬虎者有相關的限制。老虎時而代表驅邪、祥瑞,時而又被禁忌所隔絕,說明虎在人們心中有著複雜的情緒。
雖然虎文化裡呈現出複雜的情緒,老虎當作神祇腳力的相關傳說則呈現相當的一致性,皆是被相關主神降服,或是這些主神有恩於老虎而成為座騎。例如最普遍的虎爺傳說即是老虎代表山林,土地公因為是山神,所以收伏老虎成為座騎。明《七修類稿‧事物類》裡載有老虎傷人之前,必須先得到土地公的允許方可為之,也反映類似的觀點。保生大帝的座騎「黑虎將軍」,原是吃人的老虎,因為吃人後,髮釵卡在咽喉,得保生大帝的救護而保住生命,從此成為保生大帝的座騎,成為人類的守護神。城隍爺的虎爺亦是因為城隍如同神祇的地方官,為保護地方安全,除去地方上害人的老虎是職責所在,在福建地方即有城隍除虎的傳說,此外,城隍的虎爺亦有追捕惡鬼的職能。至於張天師、武財神等以虎為交通工具等,除了老虎本身的驅邪意涵外,也有迅速、展現主神神威之意。
台灣早虎爺神象的造型多以虎的原型為主,直到近年來才出現虎頭人身或是人身虎帽的造型。虎爺多以木雕石雕為主,亦有少數銅雕、陶塑者。大部分的虎爺造型多有擬人化的揚起嘴角的微笑造型,加上類似貓的形態以脫去虎的凶惡,是以虎爺多呈現戇厚樸拙的樣子,頗有親和力。
虎爺在中臺灣發展中有信徒組織,是在雲林北港的天宮。天宮虎爺稱黑虎將軍,成立有虎爺公會,會員有數百人,並設有高雄分會及台北分會,以農曆六月六日為虎爺聖誕日。每年媽祖聖誔時,虎爺的神轎也跟隨遊行,是其中「喫炮」最重者。
        虎爺主要多配祀於土地公中,於保生大帝的中作黑虎將軍,是主要配祀有虎爺的宇,至於少數以虎爺著稱的宇有彰化彰邑明聖、民雄虎爺會會館、石碇伏虎宮等等,亦頗有新興者,如台中義虎堂虎爺將軍即建於2006年,是新興的宇。如同各種民間神祇,人們亦向虎爺求禱平安,財富等。有些地方是以紅蛋供奉虎爺,之後將紅蛋在自己的額頭處打破,將紅蛋去殼後吃食,以祛惡轉運。


 臺南市中西區天天公虎將軍(陳美華攝)


關鍵詞:虎爺、土地公、保生大帝、黑虎將軍
 
考資料
1.高佩英。2006。《台灣的虎爺信仰》。台北:遠足文化。
2.陳繡綿。2010。《台北市虎爺信仰之研究》。台北:稻鄉。


Huye is one kind of animal deity in popular religion. Hu mean tiger in Chinese. Meanwhile, tiger is regarded as deity in this case. Most often Huye is as an accompanied deity(配祀神) and the sedan of main deity in temples. Tiger is the sedan of many deities, such as Tudi gong(土地公), Baoshengdadi(保生大帝), Caishen Zhao Gongming(財神趙公明), and Zhang tian-shi(張天師) etc. Only rare temples are dedicated to Huye. They are mainly located at the middle area of Taiwan. Because Huye is the accompanied deity and the sedan of main deity, his statue often placed under the altar table. Huye’s major role is exorcising and tutelage of the believer’s fortune. Although Huye ranks low in the spectrum of popular deity, his popularity is almost above each deity. It does not matter whether the deity is popular or not. Or the temple is huge or tiny. Huye stays in a temple as the supporting role in case of the main deity need. Most of the temples are dedicated to Tudi gong.
        Since Huye is the accompanied deity of various deities, people also called him in various ways. He is also called Tianhu jianjun(天虎將軍, General the Heaven Tiger), Fe hu jianjun(飛虎將軍, General the Flying Tiger), Shanjun Zunshen(山軍尊神, Venerable Garrison deity of mountain), Xiatan yuanshuai(下元帥, Marshal under the Altar), and Hehu jianjun(黑虎將軍, General Black Tiger)etc.
        Tiger become a deity is connected with the human cultural related to tiger. Taiwan is not the origin place of tiger. It is no doubt that the idea and image of Huye comes from mainland China. They are brought by the Han people. The cultural, taboo, and legend related to tiger are complex and lasting. In Liangzhu culture(良渚文化)’s sites, it is found that people line shells in dregon and tiger shape. The important goddess Xi Wangmu(西王母) in Chinese religion is described as tiger tail in ancient literature. The four animal representation of cardinal direction also have a white tiger that represents the west. In the well known Chinese Zodiac(十二生肖), tiger has a place. There are also some taboos and restricting related to the person whose zodiac is tiger when a wedding or funeral is held. Tiger’s image is complex. Sometimes people thought that it is auspicious. In other cases, tiger is the symbol and association of menace. Tiger is a complex.
Though tiger reveals people’s complex, the legend about tiger becoming deity’s sedan is consistent. The main line is tiger tamed or helps by the main deity. For example, one of Tudi gong’s duty is watch over mountain. If a tiger would hurt human, one must take the permission from Tudi gong. In the case of Baoshengdadi’s sedan, Hehu jianjun, he was an anthropophagous tiger before. The last time he ate a woman and the lady’s hairpin got stuck in his throat. His pain almost killed himself until he was cured by Baoshengdadi. Then he regretted what he had done before and thanked to Baoshengdadi’s saving his life. As the result, He became Baoshengdadi’s sedan. There are also some stories about Cheng huangye (城隍, the City god) punishing the tiger that hurts peoples. Besides, as the vehicle of deity, tiger also shows the swift and overwhelming power of main deity.
The statue of Huye is in tiger’s shape mainly. Until recently, there are some statues in the shape of semi tiger. They have tiger head and human body or a human wearing a tiger hat. Most material of Huye’s s statue is woods or stone. Rare of them are cooper ware or pottery. Huye has smile on his face and imitate catlike shape. So he liberates his fierce tiger image and become intimate to people.
As mentioned above, Huye is often dedicated in the Tudi gong’s temple. He is also a deity in the temple dedicated to Baoshengdadi. There are also some temples dedicated to Huye, such as Mingshen temple(明聖) in Zhanghua(彰化), the Assembly temple of Huye(虎爺會會館) in Jiayi(嘉義), and Fuhe temple(伏虎宮) in New Taipei City. There are also some new flourishing temples and shrines.
 
Keywords:
Huye, General Black Tiger, Tudi gong, Baoshengdadi
 
考資料
1.高佩英。2006。《台灣的虎爺信仰》。台北:遠足文化。
2.陳繡綿。2010。《台北市虎爺信仰之研究》。台北:稻鄉。
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