The first Aboriginal harvest festival ceremony to be held this year commenced in the Amis village of Bawongwong in Taitung County last Wednesday. During the ceremony, the elders led children young and old in singing the tribe’s ancient songs and doing passionate dances.
Taitung County’s Aboriginal harvest festivals are typically held in July and August. The Amis tribe in Taitung’s Bawongwong Village held its first ceremony of the year last Wednesday, with more than 100 tribe members and guests participating in the energetic singing and dancing.
Tsai Wan-cheng, secretary of the Bawongwong Community Development Association, says that their village is incredibly gorgeous, located in the mountains facing the sea, but a lack of water resources has led many locals to move elsewhere to find jobs. Although the law says that Aborigines get one day of paid vacation for the harvest festival, most companies do not allow them to take the day off, and when the harvest festival falls on a Wednesday like this year, it makes it very difficult to hold events. There were only 15 people actually from the tribe that came to attend the ceremony this year.
Even though not everyone was able to return to the village, Bawongwong’s harvest festival was still quite festive and lively. The tribe’s chief, Chang Te-ming, and elders Lai Ching-chuan and Chen Chen-ming led the people of the tribe in holding hands, dancing in circles using traditional steps and singing traditional songs, displaying the beautiful culture of the Amis. Teenagers, young children and women also performed their own dances, making for a joyous occasion.
The Taitung Indigenous Peoples Department says that the harvest festival activities in Taitung County will last until Sept. 9, with 123 events in all. Information regarding the various festival events can be found on the department’s Web site (in Chinese) in the “Festivals” section: http://www.taitung.gov.tw/Aborigine/index.aspx.
1. elder n.
耆老；老人 (qi2 lao3; lao3 ren2)
例: You should listen to the advice of your elders.
2. lively adj.
熱鬧滾滾的 (re4 nao4 gun2 gun3 de5)
例: Going to the market on Saturday mornings is always a lively scene.
3. joyous adj.
歡樂的 (huan1 le4 de5)
例: Last night was a joyous evening full of food, drink and merriment.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)