A bamboo sailboat constructed using traditional shipbuilding techniques is to begin its maiden voyage off the coast of Taitung County next Monday, Amis activists from Taitung’s Farangaw Village announced yesterday.
The boat — named the Farangaw Autonomy — is to undertake a voyage to inspect the village’s traditional maritime territories, which activists hope will promote autonomous rule for Farangaw, as well as rally support for Aboriginal autonomy nationwide.
Villagers in Farangaw ceased production of traditional bamboo sailboats in the early years of Japanese colonial rule about 100 years ago, Council For Farangaw Autonomy chairperson Raranges Hoki Na Tungaw said.
Photo: Council For Farangaw Autonomy
“Through this voyage, we hope not only to reaffirm our traditional territories on land, but also to lay claim to our maritime territories,” Hoki said.
Five village elders in their 70s and 80s, although never having seen or built a bamboo sailboat themselves, led the project by relying on oral accounts of traditional shipbuilding they heard when they were young.
Bamboo from hills close to the village was harvested to construct the hull, while the ship’s sail was weaved from the leaves of screw pines found in coastal areas.
The villagers were once summoned to the police station for questioning after being accused of stealing the bamboo, which local authorities regard as public property, Hoki said.
Blasting government policies and laws which he said were “stifling” Aboriginal cultural development, Hoki called for Aboriginal sovereignty over traditional territories.
One of the main organizers of the event, National Taitung University professor Jesse Liu (劉炯錫) said access to the land and its resources was integral to the livelihood and cultural integrity of Aborigines.
Legal amendments to grant increased local autonomy should not be difficult as long as consensus is reached in Taiwanese society, Liu said, referencing as an example the Nov. 29 nine-in-one elections, which were modified in May to include the elections of Aboriginal district representatives and district council members.
Several other Aboriginal activists and representatives from around the nation also showed up to express solidarity with Farangaw’s cause, including Su Ching-chen (蘇金成), a Rukai Aborigine from Taitung’s Tarumak Village.
As Tarumak is located in Beinan Township (卑南) — home to a Han Chinese majority — Aboriginal voices are often unrepresented in local government, Su said.
Su demanded a redrawing of township boundaries to establish a new autonomous Aboriginal township, which would include Tarumak and some other Aborigine villages from neighboring townships.
‘EFFECTIVE DETERRENCE’: If the Biden administration suspends arms sales to Taiwan, the military could still ready a nimble fighting force for defense, an analyst said The “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” last week sparked debate among analysts after US President Donald Trump declassified the document 20 years ahead of schedule. Trump on Tuesday last week released the document that had governed US strategic action in the region since the US leader approved its use in 2018. The document, which outlines US priorities in the region, emphasizes the importance of defending Taiwan against military aggression and facilitating the country’s development of asymmetric strategies and capabilities. The overall directive of the document is for the US to prevent China from establishing sustained air and sea dominance inside the first
SECOND RULING: Israeli-American Oren Shlomo Mayer refused to sign a court transcript, complained about the court translator and said the trial had been unfair The High Court yesterday upheld New Taipei City District Court’s verdicts on four men convicted last year in connection with the 2018 murder and dismemberment of a Canadian citizen on the banks of the Sindian River (新店溪). It found American-Israeli Oren Shlomo Mayer and American Ewart Odane Bent guilty of homicide and the abandonment and destruction of a corpse, with Mayer sentenced to life in prison and Bent given a term of 12 years and six months, for the death of Sanjay Ryan Ramgahan, whose body parts were found in a riverside park under Zhongzheng Bridge in New Taipei’s Yonghe
ALLEVIATING FEARS: The CECC would only announce public places where it is difficult to identify everyone there at the same time as the couple, minister Chen said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced six places where two locally infected COVID-19 cases had visited between Thursday last week and Sunday, urging people who had been at the places at the same time to monitor their health. The couple, cases 838, a doctor, and 839, his nurse girlfriend, were reported by the center on Tuesday. The doctor had treated a patient with COVID-19 last week before he began suffering symptoms on Friday, while the nurse began suffering symptoms on Saturday. They work in the same hospital in northern Taiwan, but the nurse had not worked with COVID-19 patients, so
A legislator yesterday called for authorities to investigate the sale of Chinese-made, Internet-connected karaoke machines containing “propaganda songs.” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said she was approached by a person who had discovered Chinese patriotic songs such as My Motherland (我的祖國) — which is commonly referred to as China’s “second national anthem” — in Chinese-made karaoke devices sold in Taiwan. The machines are popular, as they can connect to the Internet, providing access to thousands of songs, she said. One retailer, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the machines first entered the local market about three years ago, starting with