Indigenous Peoples Culture Experience
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Indigenous Peoples Culture Experience

2020/03/19
Tribal elders wearing Zou costumes are explaining the use of folk plants
Hidden treasure of asia-Understanding the indigenous peoples of Taiwan

What kind of attitude should we adopt when we venture deep into the wooded mountains? You will realize the wisdom of relying on the environment and building a harmonious relationship with nature by following the indigenous people who live in the mountains of Taiwan.
Taiwanese indigenous people are Austronesian peoples, the only language family in the world today that is distributed across many islands. There are more than 560,000 Taiwanese Aboriginals who speak Austronesian languages on this island, making Taiwan the northernmost country where Austronesian peoples have made their home. Scholars have pointed out in recent years that Taiwan may be the original homeland of the Austronesian language family, a language family of up to 400 million speakers. Taiwan’s Aboriginals are the best tour guides to lead you all the way into the mountains.

There are 16 tribes that make tools and utensils using local materials and who now endeavor to preserve the traditional culture of Taiwan. By learning the idea of ecologically sustainable development and the application of ethnobotanical plants (please refer to annotation 1) from the environment, cultures which have accumulated the wisdom of the mountains have developed. According to indigenous religious beliefs, nature, spirits, ancestors and humans are a closely-knit life community. Inheritance has made them better understand the true meaning of “taking only what you really need” based on “gratitude and contentment”, just like the joke they often make that, “Our refrigerator is absolutely environmentally friendly as the forests and seas are our refrigerator that helps us with energy saving and carbon reduction.” This is exactly the sincerest way they have found and implemented to live in harmony with nature.
 
Aboriginal food ingredients are taken from nature

Despite its limited territorial area, Taiwan possesses rich indigenous cultures that can reach the world. Before you venture into the mountains, remember that betel nuts, rice wine and cigarettes are the mountain permits you should present to show respect to the souls of the dead of the tribe, and welcoming and prayer ceremonies are the most genuine passion shown by Taiwanese Aboriginal people. How can you miss the cultural experience rich in forest wisdom when you come to Taiwan?

Annotation 1: ethnobotanical plants: the development of human civilization is closely related to many plants, and ethnobotany is the study of a region's plants and their practical uses through the traditional knowledge of a local culture and people. As indigenous people are very respectful of the wisdom and value of their ancestors, and attach great importance to passing on the existing culture from generation to generation, the custom of plant application can be more easily preserved to this day. Hence “ethnobotanical plants” generally refers to the plants used by indigenous people.
 
Aboriginals are pounding millet mochi.