Experience the Charm of the Indigenous Culture Park
The Indigenous Culture Park was opened to the public in 1987. It was established as an outdoor museum in the Fuguwan region, which in the Paiwan language means "fertile land". It is located near the Ailiao River at the foot of Dawu Mountain, in Beiye Village of Majia Township in Pingtung County, and is at the border of Majia Township and Sandimen Township. To enter the park, it is necessary to pass Shueimen, which is the transportation hub for the three indigenous villages of Sandimen, Majia, and Wutai. Living nearby are the Paiwan and Rukai tribes, and so the area is immersed with indigenous cultures. The park has a total area of 82.65 hectares, at an elevation of between 145 and 220 meters. The park is rich in natural beauty with diverse landscapes. It is divided into four sections:
- 1. Reception for Visitors
This section includes the Special Exhibition Room, Artifact Display Room, Audiovisual Room, Handicrafts Room and Octagonal Special Display Hall to provide an overview of Taiwan's colorful cultural diversity of the twelve officially recognized tribes. The exhibits in the Artifact Display Room are mostly the daily necessities and working tools once used by Taiwan's indigenous tribes. They are the testament to the intelligent application of their knowledge of nature to their daily lives. Next door to the Artifact Display Room is the Audiovisual Room, which provides film introduction about the past, present and future of Taiwan's indigenous tribes.
- 2. Tamaluwan
Tamaluwan means "blessing" in the Bunun language. We wish every visitor to the park have a wonderful cultural journey. This section is divided into upper and lower parts. The upper part introduces the traditional villages of the Saisiyat and Atayal tribes. The design and materials of the houses reflect regional characteristics and deep cultural meanings. There is also the Truku tribe, which received official recognition on January 14, 2004. The lower part displays the traditional villages of the Pinuyumayan, Amis, Yami and Kavalan tribes, respectively. The Kavalan tribe has lived on the Lanyang Plain for centuries and received official recognition near the end of 2002. Widely dispersed on the lowland plains, the Kavalan adopted a life style of shifting cultivation (nomadic farming), with hunting and fishing. They built their near lakes or wetland areas where water was abundant. In September 2005, traditional Kavalan building was constructed here, with the planting of banana trees around it for calling attention to the Kavalan's special skill in weaving clothes from banana tree bark fibers.
- 3. Naruwan
This section includes a restaurant that serves indigenous cuisine, along with a display and sales center for handicraft products from all over Taiwan's indigenous communities. There is also a natural ecology classroom that will amaze the visitors with an introduction to the harmony and beauty of nature. There is a theater for demonstrating and preserving traditional indigenous music and dances by the park's performance troupe, who strives to document and learn the songs and dances of each tribe. They incorporate ceremonial practice, traditional lifestyle, and other cultural activities to develop theme performances of each tribe's songs and dances. After enjoying the music and dance performance, visitors can head towards the Indigenous Lifestyle Hall next door. This is filled with lifelike wax figures and diorama scenes to take visitors back in time to the traditional life in Taiwan's indigenous villages.
- 4. Fuguwan
For the Fuguwan section, tt is a different kind of indigenous landscape shown here. The upper part of this section showcases the traditional villages of the Tsou and Bunun tribes, while the lower part presents those of the Paiwan, Rukai and Thao tribes. The Paiwan and Rukai tribes place importance on a social hierarchy with distinct commoner and nobility classes. This can be evidenced by differences in the size and decoration of their dwellings.