The Paiwan Nose and Mouth Flute Research and Preservation Project

  The Paiwan Nose and Mouth Flute Project was a commissioned research project directed by Institute of Ethnology Research Fellow Hu Tai-li. During the process of research, video (V8, Betacam, etc.) and digital audio recorders were used to collect field audio-visual data. A total of 87 video tapes, 37 audio tapes and 500 photographs were collected.

  This research project was composed of two phases, the first of which began in 1995. Commissioned by the Executive Yuan Council for Cultural Affairs, Hu Tai-li directed the project while Tjuplang served as full-time project assistant. The content of the resulting “Paiwan Nose and Mouth Flute Artistry Preservation and Transmission Planning Report” mainly focuses on the results of a nose and mouth flute preservation survey. In total, 30 nose and mouth flute artisans were interviewed and organized into four important Paiwan flute traditions: the northern Paiwan Vutsul double pipe nose flute (raringedan), the northern Paiwan Raval double pipe mouth flute (paringed), the northern Paiwan Vutsul single pipe five-holed mouth flute (kuraru or pakuraru), central Paiwan Vutsul single pipe seven-holed mouth flute (raringedan or kuraru).

  In the second phase beginning in 1997, the Council for Cultural Affairs’ National Center for Traditional Arts continued to commission Hu Tai-li to direct the “Paiwan Nose and Mouth Flute Artistry Preservation Project”. Ethnomusicologists Chien Shan-Hua and Vuluk served as collaborative directors, while Tjuplang again took the role of full-time assistant. In addition, Tjinuai was hired to assist with interviews and data compilation regarding the single pipe seven-holed mouth flute. In this phase, a total of nine representative flute performers were selected from the four Paiwan nose and mouth flute traditions for further interviews regarding their life history. Special focus was placed on documenting life experiences relating to the flute in order to provide concrete examples of the instrument’s importance in Paiwan culture. Listening to the field audio-visual data collected by Hu Tai-li and Tjuplang, the collaborative directors transcribed the melodies of seven nose flute and nine mouth flute players into musical notation. Vuluk also documented various flute production methods. Together, they completed the “Paiwan Flautist Life History, Musical Score, and Production Documentation” report. In 2001, the two reports were compiled into a book titled, Paiwan Nose and Mouth Flutes, which was published and released by the National Center for Traditional Arts.

  In December 1997, in order to create high quality recordings, the project invited 15 nose and mouth flute players to Kaohsiung’s Asia Digital Studio to record an album. At the same time, videos of the flute performances were preserved using a professional BETACAM recorder for research purposes and to promote the perpetuation of the cultural tradition.

Paiwan Nose and Mouth Flutes Project Introduction Trailer