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摘要

本篇出處 近代中國婦女史研究 26 2015.12[民104.12] 頁133-191
篇名 神龕上的祖姑婆:何仙姑信仰與泛珠三角地區的女性崇拜
作者 廖小菁
中文摘要   抗婚是中國女神傳說中常見的核心主題。過去的研究 多視其為女性對父權社會秩序的反抗,著眼於未嫁女性的 身分對於從夫居(virilocal)的父系家族結構可能造成的衝 擊。本文藉由探討廣東增城何仙姑信仰在明清時期的發 展與泛珠江三角洲地區1 特有的女性祖先崇拜傳統─祖 姑2 之祀,試圖指出,拒絕婚嫁的女性角色向來是當地土 俗傳統中視以為常的女性形象,甚至是地方社會奉之為神 聖的崇拜對象。當宗族制度於明清時期成為廣東地區鋪排 社會秩序與創造社群身分認同的主要機制後,早期地方傳 統中抗婚的女性形象透過宗族語言的轉化與操作,不僅成 為個別宗族團體用來建構社群認同與更新我群邊界的重 要文化資源,也因此在宗族社區中被賦予具有正當性的享 祀地位。往昔許多論者所謂,未婚無嗣的女子由於不能透 過婚姻歸於正常祭祀秩序之中,所以是父系繼嗣原則所支 撐的社會秩序潛在的污染或威脅。本文藉由泛珠三角的女 神與祖姑信仰的例子說明,在威脅之外,也存在挹助甚至 強化這種社會秩序的穩定力量。女性是污穢抑或聖潔的象 徵、是在社會的邊緣或中心得到安頓,端看社區的選擇、 操作與實踐。
英文摘要   Resistance to marriage is a significant theme found often in the legends of Chinese female deities. Based on ananalysis of the Goddess He Xiangu (Transcendent Maiden He) cult in Zengcheng, Guangdong and paternal great-aunt worship in the Greater Pearl River Delta—both examples of cults centering on unmarried females—this article shows that female resistance to marriage was widely accepted and practiced in the regional custom. Before the Ming-Qing period, not only was this practice considered normative, but such women were even promoted as deities or family ancestresses. Furthermore, while the lineage system became socially dominant in the Ming-Qing period, the anti-marriage females found in early local or family legends had been transformed into a specific kind of lineage ancestress—the “great-aunt.” Lineage groups appropriated the ancestral worship dedicated to such figures to construct community identity and renew it over time. By focusing on the perceived potential pollution or damaging impact of unmarried women, previous studies have generally interpreted female marriage resistanceas opposition to the Chinese patrilineal-virilocal social structure. However, investigation into the unmarried female cult in the Greater Pearl River Delta region reveals that as well as being seen as potentially threatening to the patrilineal social order, the practice of female marriage resistance was also often viewed as supportive of this same social order. Depending on the specific community’s choices and procedures, unmarried women represented either polluting or deified symbolic powers, were seen to either threaten or support the established social order, and were positioned socially either at the periphery or the center.