Highlights from the Amis Music Festival.
The News Lens
By: TNL Staff
The third annual Amis Music Festival, held in Dulan, Taitung County, southeast Taiwan yesterday, drew
about 2,500 people to celebrate the culture and music of Taiwan’s largest indigenous tribe.
PHOTO CREDIT: Kenzo/The News Lens.
A handful of different Amis groups from around Taiwan performed individually, and also collectively as part of several mass dance routines involving hundreds, bringing the island’s Amis people together. The event also showcased a large array of Amis food, drinks, arts, crafts and clothing.
This year’s festival featured Yomitanson Tokeshiseinenkai (pictured below) an indigenous group from Okinawa, Japan. One of its members, Oshiro Seiji, 25, said that Okinawa’s indigenous culture was almost completely lost by the end of World War II. Today, indigenous people in Japan remain “very worried” about the future of their culture, he says. His group is working to revive the cultural practices and traditions among local people in Okinawa and lift its presence internationally, including through creating modern takes on traditional dance and music.
The festival was held at Dulan Junior High School. Principal, Zhuo Shi-hong (卓世宏), says that more than 60 percent of the school’s 180 students are Amis. The school’s regular curriculum includes Amis language classes. During holidays, additional cultural and history courses and events are taught. He said the Amis culture and its traditions are increasingly popular among students, and cultural identity among the youth is strengthening. The students’ parents, including those not of Amis decent, are “thankful” to have the school play a role in educating students about Amis cultural, he says. [FULL STORY]