The traditional villages in Taiwan can be divided into two types: clustered and dispersed. Due to the many plains in central to southern Taiwan, the settlements in this area were mainly clustered villages. These villages were usually round in shape, and surrounded by bamboo hedges or ditches to prevent the intrusion of bandits. Inside, there was often a village temple where local deities were worshiped in order to protect residents. In addition, “jiangliao” or “wuying”, representing the General of the Five Camps, were established at the main road entrances to symbolize that the territory was protected by the deities. They also marked the parameters of the village. Dispersed villages were more prevalent in northern Taiwan, because of the undulating terrain. In order to reinforce inter village communication, joint worship areas were often developed between different villages to form a broader defensive system.

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