Tue, Dec 26, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Visitors welcome at Puyuma New Year ceremonies

By Hsu Li-chuan and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

For people wanting to mark New Year in an interesting setting, attending the cultural events organized by Taitung’s Puyuma Aborigines could be an option.

Puyuma villages in the middle of this month began holding a series of celebrations, including the Vasivas (少年祭), Mangayau (大獵祭) and Pubiyaw (羌祭) ceremonies, which are collectively called the annual festival.

Ulivelivek Village (初路部落) festival organizer Chen Teng-tsai (陳登財) said that the village has maintained its traditional ceremonies and visitors would have the chance to witness them in person until New Year’s Day.

The village would hold a New Year’s dance at 9pm on Sunday after the Pubiyaw ceremony, which is held to thank ancestral and mountain spirits, and the dance would last throughout the night into New Year’s Day, Chen said.

Villagers would dance for the first one or two hours, and guests would be invited to participate after that, Chen said.

In the morning, an additional ceremony, the Kituvangsar, or the ceremony of the rite of passage, would be held, Chen said, adding that the annual festivities would not conclude until Tuesday morning next week.

Kasavakan Village (建和部落) on New year’s Day is to hold is unique Katikelruwanan event, which involves a three-story-high swing, local residents said.

The swing is made from bamboo and vines, and is to carry a circlet of flowers symbolizing the honors of the ancestors, local residents said, adding that after the swing is blessed by the village elders and tested for safety, villagers would be called to ride it.

The higher a person swings, the braver they are, and the highest swingers would also have better luck next year, they said, adding that visitors would be invited to experience the ceremony once all the villagers have had their turn.

Other Aboriginal villages, such as Qalang Smangus Village (司馬庫斯), are holding other events in lieu of traditional ceremonies, a local source said.

A priest and village elders are to preside over an event at the village church on New Year’s Eve, reflecting on the year’s activities, and watching pictures and videos, they said, adding that it would conclude at 11:40pm and fireworks would be lit at midnight.

Meanwhile, Bailan Village (白蘭部落) in Hsinchu’s Wufeng Township (五峰) said that while the majority of residents are Atayal, there are some Amis in the village as well, and the village is planning its events in an Amis fashion, recreating the Amis Ilisin ceremony.

Tsou people in Pnguu Village (來吉部落), in Chiayi County’s Alishan Township (阿里山), are to celebrate the coming of the New Year starting from 4pm on New Year’s Eve, a source said.

Singing and partying are to last throughout the night, and fireworks are to be lit at 8pm, the source said, adding that the event could conclude with the singing of the song Pasu Hohcubu (塔山之歌) as midnight approaches.

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