Mon, Aug 13, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Kiwit accuse CIP of disrespect

‘ARROGANT’:The Indigenous People’s Cultural Development Center’s dancers used patented moves and costumes, and botched a traditional dance, the Kiwit people said

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

An Amis community yesterday accused the Council of Indigenous Peoples (CIP) of disrespecting its culture after the council earlier this month organized an event where a traditional Amis dance was performed without the community’s permission, allegedly in violation of the Protection Act for the Traditional Intellectual Creations of Indigenous Peoples (原住民族傳統智慧創作保護條例).

On Aboriginal Day on Aug. 1, the council’s Indigenous People’s Cultural Development Center organized a Pawali-Ciopihay — a traditional dance performed by Amis men during the annual festival of Ilisin — at the opening ceremony of the Austronesian Forum at the Grand Hotel in Taipei.

In the performance, prepared for officials and representatives from Indonesia, New Zealand, the US and other nations, dancers wore the traditional costumes of the Ciopihay — the warrior class of the Amis — and danced to their traditional music to showcase Taiwan’s indigenous culture.

The Kiwit people, an Amis community in Hualien County, on Aug. 6 accused the center of breaching the act by using their patented dance moves, music and costumes without its permission.

The community in April obtained patent rights for the dance moves and music of Pawali-Ciopihay, as well as costumes of the Ciopihay, it said in a statement on Facebook, adding that according to Article 10 of the act, they cannot be used or modified without permission.

The law, which was passed in 2007, stipulates that patent owners can demand compensation of up to NT$6 million (US$195,389) from those who have illegally used their creations.

While the community has not asked for compensation, it demanded that the council apologize for encroaching upon its rights.

The center on Aug. 6 said that the performance was based on a version it had choreographed in collaboration with Amis people in 1997, which it has been performing for more than 20 years, and that it was for noncommercial purposes.

The center did not apologize, but said it would communicate with the Kiwit community to understand its stance on the issue.

The Kiwit yesterday called the center’s responses “arrogant,” adding that the government broke the law.

The Kiwit patented the Pawali-Ciopihay in the hope of ensuring its authenticity, and to prevent cultural misunderstanding or misrepresentation, the community said.

Many members of the community have seen the center’s performance of Pawali-Ciopihay and noticed many errors, it said.

“How many dancers have come and left the center’s dance group in the past 20 years? How can they be so arrogant to assume that their dance, which has evolved over years — is still absolutely correct?” it said.

The errors include not singing the song, but rather having it played from speakers, and incorrect tempo and dance moves, it said.

“This is the first case of illegal patent use against the patent rights of Aborigines’ traditional intellectual creations. This means it will set an important precedent for future disputes. To safeguard the rights of Aborigines and to ensure the public understands the act correctly, we will not compromise on this case,” it said.

To do so, it might raise funds to file a lawsuit against the government, it said, adding that it hopes the public would support the cause.

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