Disrespect of Flying Fish Festival Reflecting Marginalization Trend of Aboriginals

Tourists have been disrespecting the traditional culture of Orchid Island’s indigenous people.

The News Lens
Date: 2016/05/30
Translated and compiled by Bing-sheng Lee

In early May, the Tao people, a Taiwanese Aboriginal tribe on Orchid Island (also known as Lanyu),

Photo Credit: jacob jungflickr @ CC BY-ND 2.0

Photo Credit: jacob jungflickr @ CC BY-ND 2.0

discovered that traditional fishing boats had been damaged by tourists.

An elderly Tao villager says that during the annual Flying Fish Festival, Tao moor wooden boats around the island’s harbors. People, especially women, are not allowed to approach them without permission.

The villager says that while it is acceptable for visitors to take their pictures with the boats, some actions have crossed the line. Tourists have littered around the island, damaged boats, and illegally entered houses. According to the taboos of the festival, the period during which the Tao collect wood in the mountains has passed, so the villagers have no material to repair the damaged boats.

Hu Long-hsiung (胡龍雄, Syamenwomzas), director of the Tao Foundation, says the traditional wooden boats are not only a symbol of Tao culture, but also a significant tool the Tao people use to acquire food.     [FULL  STORY]

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