A Brief Introduction of the Paiwan Ceremonies and Legends Research Project


  Started in 1989, this project Paiwan Ceremonies and Legends combined several Paiwan research projects directed by Institute of Ethnology Research Fellow Hu Tai-li. In addition to receiving long-term financial support from the Institute, some of the research projects, such as “The Paiwan Kulalao female shaman ceremonial language,” were supported financially by the Executive Yuan’s National Science Council. In total, 1154 video tapes were recorded in the field using new light video cameras (including VHS, V8, Hi8, and DV models/tapes) 26 audio tapes and 2698 photographs, making this rich collection one of the largest components of the Taiwan Ethnography Video and Audio Archive.

  Shooting in the fields took place mainly in Kulalao Village (Laiyi Township, Pingtung County) and Tuban Village (Tajen Township, Taitung County) , which to this day continue to hold the Paiwan five-year ceremony and other traditional riturals. These recordings were later digitalized and placed in the “Paiwan Kulalao” and “Paiwan Tuban” sections, and other recordings from Nanhe, Wangchia, Laiyi, Pingho, and Santimen were placed in the “Paiwan other” section. The audio tapes were mainly Paiwan legends (mirimiringan) collected by Tjinuai Kaleradan, the project assistant, and placed in the “Paiwan audio” section. Field material from Kulalao was sometimes simultaneously recorded by Hu Tai-li and Tjinuai, and the portion shot by the latter was placed in the “Paiwan reference” section.

  The videotapes include the Paiwan five-year ceremony, six-year ceremony to send off the ancestors, cultivation ritual, sowing ritual, harvest ceremony, birth ritual, coming-of-age ritual, weddings, funerals, shaman initiation ritual, healing rituals, spirit-invoking ritual, shamanic chants, empowering spiritual power riturals, shaman interviews, songs, and legends. The five-year ceremony was fully recorded in 1989, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009, and 2014, as was the six-year ceremony of the following year to send off the spirits, and these recordings provide a resource for studying the changes that Paiwan ceremonies have undergone over time.