QUESTION: finding English language material on the gods/religion of Tai O (Hong Kong) or Tanka people?

question / pregunta: 

Where and how would I find English language material on the local gods and/or religion practiced in Tai O (a fishing village on one of Hong Kong's outlying islands) or by its people (an ethnic group most commonly known as the Tanka people)?


Answer posted by:

I have to say, I'm not finding much in English. I found out that the village of Tai O is located on Lantau Island. There is much news coverage of that locale in regard to a new International airport being built there, and I think an Asian Disneyland, as well. What helps is if you expand your search to Lantau Island. I found only a few things that may or may not be helpful to your query. I listed a couple of journals and newspapers that specialize in covering this region. I listed some articles I found. First off the bat, some contact information for librarians local to you.

Aruna Magier, South Asia, NYU Libraries,
Evelyn Ehrlich, Religion, " " ,
Timothy Johnson, Anthropology, " " ,
Nancy Stout, Religion, Fordham University Library,

Helpful Journals :
Chinese Sociology and Anthropology
South China Morning Post
The Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs

Last fishing village threatened as young abandon ageing population
South China Morning Post, February 11, 2008 Monday, NEWS; Pg. 3, 704 words, Helen Wu

Plan to revive Tai O's salt-making tradition; Government puts up idea and advice, but no cash
South China Morning Post, January 16, 2008 Wednesday, NEWS; Pg. 1, 511 words, Helen Wu

Hong Kong's Quiet Neighbor. (1990, February). Sunset, 184(2), 110.

Thousand-year oppression and thousand-year resistance: the Tanka fisherfolk in Tai O before and after colonialism
Author: Hung, Ho Fung; Man, Si-wai; Lo, Sze-ping, trs.
Journal: Chinese Sociology and Anthropology (Armonk, NY)
Vol: 30, no.3 (Spring) Pages:75-99
Date: 1998
(this journal available at NYU and Fordham, according to

Reference community: anthropological experience of research, teaching and friendship in Tai-O, Hong Kong
Author: Liu, Tik-sang; Cheung, Siu-woo
In: Cheung, Sidney C.H., ed. On the South China track: perspectives on anthropological research and teaching. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies: Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1998. 279p. (Research monograph, no.40.)
Date: 1998

I found the following webpage as well.
Tai O, Lantau Island, by boat and Shanks' Pony
"Feb 4, 2006 ... Arriving at Tai O, the village on the west coast of Lantau that has been fancifully dubbed the "Venice of Hong Kong", we're expecting to ..."

Apologies for the inconsistent citation formats.

Eugene Owens
Visiting Reference and Instruction Librarian
University of Redlands

Liu, Tik-Sang. 2003. A nameless but active religion : an anthropologist’s view of local religion in Hong Kong and Macau. The China Quarterly. 174. p. 373-394.

Abstract: Tik-sang Liu examines local religious practices in Hong Kong and Macau. He states that these constitute the foundation of local social organizations; they are the means with which local society is organized, local people are mobilized, communal activities are co-ordinated and people are prepared for their various stages in life.