A brief History of Parts of Taipa
Sam Po Temple
Sam Po Temple was built in Dao Kung 25 (1845). It was form Hunzhou(溷洲), Fukian. Sam Po, it was said that she was the third elder sister of Tin Hau and they both became the god at the same time. In Qin Long 3 (1738), a merchant whose name was Huang Kaiguang suffered fiercely storm at sea. However, blessed by Sam Po, he went back home safely. Then he built a temple for Sam Po in Hunzhou(溷洲)，Fukin.
In Dao Kuang 23(1843), Zheng Shangpan fought with mosstroopers on the coast and had success with it. However, when they sailed home, several seamen want to betray him. But about ten of them were killed by Zheng. The others were afraid of being killed, so they eventually apologized to him for their wrong behaviors. At last, they got home peacefully and people asked Zheng to bring the Statue of Sam Po home and sacrificed her. Then Sam Po showed her power many times, so local people specially set a temple to ceremony her in Longwan in Dao Kuang 25(1845).
The privates were very savage and often attacked local people in Xian Feng 5(1855). When they fought with privates, Sam Po showed her power again and blessed their success. So people agreed to enlarge the temple and built two halls besides it in 1857. And it was built again in Tong Zhi 3(1864).
There are some questions about the stone inscriptions of Sam Po Temple. On page 6, it says
But on page 7 it says that
There are difference between ‘溷洲’and ‘清惠’ and I think that maybe they different places.
Kuan Tai and Tin Hau Temple
When was this temple built? If we only use these Taipa stone inscriptions, we can’t get the exactly time of its building and we can only know that it was built during the period of Kangxi.
After its building, there were many reconstructions in the following years, because it was a long time. But unfortunately, we can’t find some materials about these reconstructions. Until in Xianfeng 6(1856), according to the stone inscriptions, its reconstruction was memorized.
It is worth mentioning that one of stone inscriptions say that there was no reconstruction during the time from Kang Xi to Kuangxu. Observably, we can’t agree of it and it didn’t right.
In min-kuo 6 (1917), it was reconstructed again. After twenty-nine years of this reconstruction, min-kuo 35 (1946), it was also restored. And now, it still well survived.
The stone inscription about Tan people
Tan people(疍民，蛋民) are special people who always float on the sea and live on the fishing and they are considered as great seamen and Sea Gypsies. Yongzheng Emperor said in his royal instruction(上谕) in 1729:
In Qing Dynasty, the ruler extorted money and things from Tan people and regarded them lowly. Li Diaoyuan said that Tan people had the nature of fight and called them thief.
In Daokuang 7 (1827), several Tan people in Xiangshan County, Li Shanqing, Guo Wangwen and Huangye, who always lived on fishing on the sea of Jiuzhou, was extorted by local officers. So they charged these local officers with their unequal treat. The officers in Canton were also took part in this charge. They sentenced that the officers in Jiuzhou were wrong and they shouldn’t extorted money from them. In order to emphasize this thing, Canton’s officers set this stone beside Tam Kung Miu.
Tin Hau Temple
Name: Tin Hau Temple
Position: Avenida da Rep Clica, Coloane
Introduction: It was said that this temple was constructed in 1677. The date on the iron bell in the temple, 1763, leads us to believe that the temple has a history dating back at least two hundred years. The temple has three parallel halls, with two blocks in the front and another at the back separated by pavilions. Besides Goddess Tin Hau (Goddess of Heaven), other deities including Kuan Tai (God of War and Wealth), Lu Ban (God of Carpenters), Choi Bak (God of Wealth) and Hua Tuo (God of Medicine) are also worshipped here. A pair of delicate rock lions stands outside the temple. The temple originally kept a wooden water cart that was used as a fire truck by Coloane residents a hundred years ago.
It was built in Kangxi 16 (1677). In the following years it was reconstructed many times:
Qinglong 18 (1773)
Tongzhi 1 (1862)
Min-kuo 16 (1927)
On page 129, the stone inscription says that it was reconstructed in min-kuo 16 (1927), but it was not mentioned in the reconstruction stone inscription in 1981 on page 128. Maybe these rebuilders forget that reconstruction in 1927.
There were many interesting things in temple, some of which were donated by many local people. The following things were such things:
锺架鼓， 皮鼓， 宫灯， 铜香炉， 簾帐， 七星灯， 天后元君衣冠全套， 大旗， 罗伞， 横任， 金耳环， 罗纱神帐， 天后圣母神船架，长旛，檀香，大掌扇，etc.
Some other ideas of how to use stone inscriptions
If you know well about the history of Taipa, we also can find many famous people in the name of donators. From this, we can deduce that one’s faith and his influence on the local religion.
There were many famous shops who donated temple. If we have enough time, we can make a list of all the shops. From the list we may find that some shops last very long and some shop existed very short. We also can analyse the social reason of their rise and decline.
The year of reconstructions is also interesting. We can see that if the society was in peace and very golden, there would be more reconstructions than when society was in war and declined.
From the stone inscriptions we also can know how a temple runs, original of its funds and supervise team
郑炜明：《葡占氹仔、路环碑铭楹匾汇编》，香港：加略山房有限公司，1993年，第7-13页。If there is not special explain, all of the following note are from this book.