Mon, Aug 13, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Tribe stages sheep-art exhibition to celebrate its culture

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Artwork and crafts under the theme of sheep are pictured in Taitung County’s Sansiantai in this undated photpgraph.

Photo courtesy of Chen Guan ying/Sansian Community Development Association

An Amis-Pisilian tribe located on the northern shores of Taitung County’s Sansiantai (三仙台) opened an arts and crafts exhibition this weekend to celebrate the 70th anniversary of their relocation to the area. The main theme of the exhibition is “sheep” — to symbolize the tribe’s tradition of breeding sheep.

The Sansian Community Development Association said the Pisilian tribe was relocated to Sansiantai after a typhoon destroyed their original homeland 70 years ago. The association organized the exhibition of 70 sheep-themed crafts in celebration of the anniversary of the relocation, as well as to invite young tribe members working elsewhere to return home to revel in the customs of the tribe.

During the opening ceremony on Saturday, the tribe fired seven traditional salutes made of bamboo, celebrating the seven decades of the tribe’s settlement history — making a new homeland, laying down roots, living in harmony with the mountains and the sea, working in peace and contentment and cultural inheritance — the association said.

The making of 70 handmade wood-art sheep figures was instructed by world-famous artist Rahic Talifo and made by tribe members that participated in a Council of Labor Affairs vocational training project, the association said.

It added that the sheep-themed artwork displayed the tribe members’ aesthetic sense of natural beauty.

“This tribe has deep cultural roots, but while Sansiantai attracts many visitors as a famous scenic spot, tourism did not bring much development to the tribe. The real shining features of eastern Taiwan lies are reflected in the tribes’ pure character and never-say-die lifestyle,” Talifo said.

He added that he hopes more tribe members can gain self-confidence through the vocational training project and develop new creative industries for the tribe.

The exhibition runs through Aug. 27.

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