Taichung Municipal Ping-Deng Elementary School has kicked off its annual “Atayal Culture Month”. The event started with tribal chief Hayung Yupao’s traditional “Atayal prayer” to lead the children in joint prayer. He hopes that every child in Ping-Deng Elementary School will grow up safely and happily.
Ping-Deng Elementary School is located in the mountainous border of the Atayal tribal community between Taichung City and Ilan. In the first week of May, their native language teacher Hayung Yupao (哈踴．優豹) exhibited his precious photo collection, showing Atayal's forefather’s tattoos, along school corridors so that both parents and their children could reminisce this traditional custom of the past. Among which, a tattoo on a man was a symbol of adulthood, or bravery, while a woman bearing a tattoo implied that she was good at weaving. It’s said that only the tattooed can walk through a rainbow bridge to return to embrace of their ancestors.
Amongst the activities, the tribal warrior, uncle A-Sung (阿松) even taught the children how to hunt; for instance, how to identify your prey; how to manufacture traps; how to respect every living creature instead of killing them all; and how to obey their forefather’s wisdom by sustaining all things on earth. In addition, their tribal chief painted a “Chiang Kai-Shek” bronze statue at the school, adorning a black suit using exclusively Atayal cultural colors, and traditional Atayal headdress to guard the children. Obviously, the Atayal-styled Chiang Kai-Shek statue is absolutely magnificent!
Ping-Deng Elementary School said they would hold another activity at the end of May to care for community elders, and express their concern to them by dancing with grandmas and grandpas in the tribal church. Through this type of activity, the essence of the Atayal culture can be kept alive generation after generation.
The Education Bureau stated that sharing culture is part of the educational focus, and combining Atayal culture with school-based curriculum for aboriginal education is worthy of confirmation and support. Ping-Deng Elementary School integrates Atayal cultural music, songs, dance, language, and customs into their teaching, thus allowing the children to immerse themselves into the Atayal culture and pass on their history.
Issued by: Information Office