Traditionally, Taiwan's indigenous languages did not have a written text and history had to be passed down orally. However, the Bunun tribe did develop icons to represent important events in the hunting and millet growing seasons. These were carved on a wooden plank which served as a type of crude calendar, marking when hunting of wild boar should and should not take place and when millet should be planted, weeded and harvested. It also marked the season for spinning and weaving of cloth. Important annual ceremonies and rites were also represented on this calendar, including the Ear Shooting Festival when the hunting skills of Bunun males were tested. These simple motifs describe the traditional Bunun lifestyle and the interdependent relationship of this tribe with Nature. They have been incorporated into this unique, handmade cloth with zipper pencil case. This pencil case is sure to brighten up your school day!
Traditional indigenous community lifestyles are gradually disappearing and economic opportunities in indigenous communities are limited, forcing many residents to move elsewhere in search of employment. This has made it difficult for traditions, history, art forms and language to be passed on, creating further cultural crises. The Hualien Association of Indigenous Industries was established to attempt to reverse some of these trends.
This association serves as a non-profit platform for the marketing and promotion of cultural and creative products produced by indigenous designers and artisans. Its missions are to pass on and preserve Taiwan's indigenous history and culture, develop indigenous traditional arts, promote indigenous art and cultural exchanges and encourage inter-disciplinary collaborations and alliances to increase economic opportunities and improve the quality of life for Taiwan's indigenous peoples.
It does this by visiting indigenous communities to understand traditional art forms and to record them in an effort to pass them on to future generations. This association does not only focus on the traditional, but seeks to add modern functions, encouraging indigenous artisans to develop products for contemporary people's lives that are infused with cultural meaning.