December 4, 2009

Meinung, Hakka’s Oil-Paper Umbrella

紙傘,是客家特有的文化之一,除了有遮陽、避雨的功能外,還有吉祥的象徵,對客家人的生活來說有著重要的地位。美濃是客家紙傘的發源地,在興盛時期,紙傘工廠高達二十餘家,每年的生產量約二萬把以上。後來,價格低廉且可快速生產的洋傘取代了紙傘,傳統紙傘行業也就逐漸沒落了。目前,美濃尚有幾間碩果僅存的紙傘廠並開放參觀,讓來訪的遊客有機會可以欣賞到傳統紙傘之美。

Oil-Paper Umbrella is one of the unique culture characteristics of Hakka’s. The umbrella is used not only for the rainy and sunny days, but also a symbol of good luck. It plays an important role in Hakka’s living. Meinung Township is the birthplace of Hakka’s oil-paper umbrella. There were almost 20 factories making paper umbrellas, and more than 20,000 umbrellas were produced per year when this business was booming. However, the business was replaced by the lower cost and faster produced western umbrellas. The traditional oil-paper umbrella industry declined. Now, there are just a few factories left in town. They open to the tourists to enjoy the beauty of the traditional oil-paper umbrella.

「廣進勝」是美濃紙傘的創始者,不僅歷史悠久,所製作的紙傘也最負盛名。紙傘製作技術是從中國廣東傳入,因此美濃的紙傘廠都多以「廣」字命名,如廣振興、廣德興、廣榮興等,充份顯現了客家人不忘本的精神。

“Guang Jin-Sheng” is the founder of Meinung oil-paper umbrella. It has a long history, and is also well-known in production. The technology in making paper umbrella was originally imported from Guangdong Province, China; therefore, most of the factories in Meinung were named after “Guang”, such as, “Guang Chen Shin”, “Guang Der Shin”, “Guang Rong Shin”...Etc. It shows the spirit of Hakka in remembering their root.

中文「紙」,與「子」諧音,而「傘」字裡頭,又有四個「人」,所以紙傘有著多子多孫的意思。而紙傘的形狀,也有代表團圓之意。所以客家在嫁女兒時,父母會贈送一對紙傘,福祝女兒能夠子孫滿堂。

In the Chinese language, “paper” and “son” have close pronunciation. The Chinese character of “Umbrella” (傘), it is composed of 4 “people” (人) inside this character. Because of those, paper umbrella has the meaning of having more children and grandchildren. The shape of the umbrella presents “reunion”. Therefore, it is Hakka’s custom that a pair of oil-paper umbrellas are the gift to the daughter from her parents when she is getting married, wishing their daughter have full house of kids soon!

註:但對閩南人來說,「傘」與「散」同音,是不吉利的象徵,所以一般人不會把傘當作禮物送人。

However, “Umbrella” and “Separate” have the same pronunciation in Fujian dialect which becomes the symbol of bad luck. People usually don’t use umbrella for the gift.

紙傘的製作過程相當繁複,主要分為製傘骨、紮工、黏紙及上桐油等四大階段。每一階段的製程,都需要花上數個月至一年以上的時間學習,而若要獨立完成一把紙傘,則必需花上三年以上的時間來學習,才能獨當一面。

The process in making oil-paper umbrella is quite complicated. It has four major processes: making the frame, binding process, attaching paper, and coating with tung oil. Each process would take you a few months to a year to learn. If you would like to complete all these four processes by yourself, you may need to learn all these skills for at least three years.

紙傘的傘骨材料,大多以具有彈性不易折斷的孟宗竹為主。孟宗竹砍收後,要先在水中浸泡一個月,以去除糖份。曬乾後,接著削成竹片,製作傘骨。這部份是紙傘的製作過程中,最困難的部份,因為一把紙傘的好壞,就在傘骨尺寸及精密度的拿捏。

The umbrella frame is usually made with Meng Zong bamboo which has good flexibility and is hard to break. After the Meng Zong bamboo is chopped, it is soaked in water to remove sugar. After drying in the sun, bamboo is sliced to make the umbrella frame. This is the most difficult process because the sizes and accuracy of the umbrella frame would determine the quality of the umbrella.

每一支傘骨上都要鑽洞,然後用棉線纏繞固定。

Each umbrella frame needs to be drilled with holes, and then bound with cotton thread.

傘骨完成後,接著將棉紙裁成適當的大小。

After the umbrella frame is completed, cut the cotton paper to appropriate sizes.

再依序貼在傘骨上,並使棉紙部份重疊。

Paste the cotton paper on the umbrella frame sequentially, and then make some overlapping on each cotton paper.

棉紙全數貼好後,在傘面上作畫。一般是以國畫為表現型式,內容有山水建築、花卉動物、客家文化元素,或以中國古典文學名著的情節做為題材。也有以古典詩詞為內容,直接在傘面上揮毫,呈現中國書法之美。

After pasting, painting would start. The painting is generally the Chinese painting, which may include landscape architecture, flowers, animals, elements of Hakka culture, or the plot of famous Chinese classical literature as the subject matter. Classical poetry can also become the content, showing the beauty of Chinese calligraphy.

紙傘,其實應該叫做「油紙傘」,因為繪製完畢的紙傘,會反覆塗上桐油。桐油的目的除了防水外,也會讓紙傘的表面更堅固、厚實及耐用。最後,裝上傘柄、固定傘頭後,才算完成一把油紙傘。

Paper umbrella should be named as “Oil-Paper Umbrella” because the tung oil is coated repeatedly after the painting process is completed. The purpose of tung oil is to waterproof and make umbrella stronger, durable, and solid. At last, adding an umbrella head completes the whole process!

現今,紙傘雖脫離了原先的實用價值,但其背後的文化意涵與獨特的東方之美,成了具有藝術價值的收藏品。

Although the oil-paper umbrella is no longer having the practical value, the underlying meaning and uniquely beautiful oriental culture make it an artistically valued collection. Read More

13 comments:

Evelyn said...

這個網站真是太棒了!謝謝妳們!:D

1ondoncalling said...

原來,這種雨傘還是客家人文化遺產啊?
我現在才知道...

kristen and micki said...

Hi, Evelyn
Ditto on the header of your blog " 環球旅行後,重新愛上台灣" That's how " Wandering Taiwan" started. We realized that our birthplace, Taiwan, is such a beautiful island after travelling in many places in the world. We want to do our best to show the beauty of Taiwan to more people. Thanks for your compliment!

kristen and micki said...

Hi, Londoncalling
Thanks! It is so cool that you can write three languages!

1ondoncalling said...

Hello again.
Actually, I write in four languages. ;)
English, Chinese, Malay and Japanese.
I'm learning through my blog.
請多多指教。

micki and kristen said...

Awesome! Four languages!! Wish I could write four languages too.

1ondoncalling said...

The key factor is the environment, I think.
You either die or survive in a foreign land. ;)
My two pennies worth...

lechuaphotography said...

these are very pretty... wondering if they could be made more practical, durable and in trend once again!

kristen and micki said...

To lechuaphotography- We wish they could be in trend again; however, the cost to make them are pretty high, so they may become less practical although they are very durable. They can be used for all seasons.

lechua said...

hey micki/kristen, this is in response to micki's comment that u use a nikon d90 too. ur indoor photos are really great.. esp these, the la mian post, hakka shirts post. were all these taken with a d90... which lens do u guys use for these? no flash is used rite?

Kristen and Micki said...

Hi, Lechua, Kristen is using Canon 450D and Micki is using Nikon D90. These articles and photos you mentioned were taken by Kristen's Canon 450D with Canon lense 17-85m. No flash for those pictures, all nature lighting. The quality of the images look fine on the screen, but they may show noises while you have them printed~~ Thansk!

Irene said...

This website is awesome!! I will share this website with my foreign friends making them fall in love with Formosa!!

kristen and micki said...

@Irene- Thanks for your support and compliment! Thanks also for sharing Wandering Taiwan to your friends! :):)

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