The Council of Indigenous Peoples held the 2023 Austronesian Peoples' Skills Exchange Workshop exhibition at the University of Guam (UOG) on August 11 to present the achievements of the two-week long sculpture skills exchange. Icyang Parod, Minister of the Council of Indigenous Peoples, flew to Guam from Taiwan to host the closing ceremony. The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Guam, the Guam Department of Chamorro Affairs, the University of Guam, the Guam Visitors Bureau, and local political dignitaries were also invited to participate in the event.
Eighteen craftspeople from nine countries, Taiwan, Indonesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Republic of Nauru, New Zealand, Tuvalu, Guam, Papua New Guinea, and Belize, participated in the workshop. The achievement exhibition not only presented the personal creations of each craftsperson under the theme of "LiMA", but all craftspeople also co-created the "A Family Dialogue" piece, reflecting that Austronesian peoples were originally one family. By participating in the event, everyone was able to gather in Guam to deliver stories of their creations through their excellent carving skills.
Icyang Parod, Minister of the Council of Indigenous Peoples, stated that the event theme "LiMA" means number "5", not only for most of Taiwan's indigenous peoples, but also for many Austronesian peoples and countries. It is like using one's hand to show the number five, which signifies how it is necessary to open our hands and connect with one other. With the craftspeople's skillful hands, ethnic culture was well-presented through their creations. During the workshop, the creativity sparked by craftspeople was also carved into the materials, bringing life to the artwork.
To show gratitude to the organizers in Guam for their assistance in facilitating the workshop, the Council of Indigenous Peoples gifted a large-scale craft splicing artwork of the personal creations of each craftsperson to the Office of the Governor of Guam to commemorate the successful exchange, and to symbolize the inheritance of Austronesian peoples' skills. The artwork co-created by the craftspeople delivers the message that Austronesian peoples have many common languages and totems. All ethnic groups are connected by oceans and boats as a family and closely rely on each other. The group artwork was also brought back to Taiwan for display by the Council of Indigenous Peoples. We sincerely welcome the public to view the exquisite skills of the Austronesian peoples and appreciate the beautiful carvings of "Home".