Fri, Feb 24, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Atayal Jianshih Township office draws admirers

By Tsai Meng-shang  /  Staff Reporter

The new Jianshih Township Council building in Hsinchu County is pictured on Tuesday. The geometric design on the building facade was inspired by an Atayal tribal motif, while the windows symbolize the eyes of ancestral spirits.

Photo: Tsai Meng-shang, Taipei Times

No matter from what angle you look at it, every side of the nearly completed Hsinchu County Jianshih Township (尖石) office shows a different look.

Jianshih is the primary settlement for Atayal Aborigines in northern Taiwan.

The township office is patterned after the Atayal tribal totem, a red- and-white diamond shape in front, with the central glass panes custom-designed to bulge outwards to symbolize the “eyes of the ancestors,” Jianshi Mayor Yun Tian-bao (雲天寶) said.

However, many tourists passing by Jianshih township also find that the sides of the building looks like an inverted “C,” while the rear resembles a segment of bamboo, making the building a favorite spot for picture-taking.

Yun said the sides of the building represented the bow of a hunter, symbolizing the Atayal’s hunting spirit, while the bamboo segment symbolizes cooperation, meaning that all the Aborigines in the township are united in one community.

The original township office was built on private land. Not only did that mean it could not be expanded, but the annual rent was NT$600,000, Yun said.

They had lived “under another’s roof” for nearly 50 years, he said.

The new office building is set to open in July, which means that township staff will not have to work in a cramped office space, and visitors on official business will have a better environment to wait in, Yun said.

Translated by Jake Chung, staff writer

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