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MOC pays tribute to the Indigenous preserver of Lmuhuw chanting, Hitay Payan

  • Date:2023-09-13
Indigenous preserver of Lmuhuw chanting, Hitay Payan

Hitay Payan (曾作振), who served as the primary artist for the Taiwan Atayal Sustainability Association (台灣泰雅爾族永續協會), and was the preserver of Lmuhuw, a traditional Atayal chanting practice in Hsinchu County, Taiwan, passed away on Sept. 8 at the age of 74.


Minister of Culture Shih Che expressed condolences upon hearing the news, emphasizing that the traditional Atayal chanting practice is a unique intangible cultural heritage of Taiwan, and Hitay Payan had devoted many years to its preservation and promotion. The Ministry of Culture will posthumously commend him in recognition of his outstanding contributions.

Born in 1949, Hitay Payan became deeply intrigued by the migration history and culture of the Atayal Tribe, especially upon discovering various language systems within the community. He dedicated many years to the preservation and transmission of the oral traditions of the Atayal Tribe's Mspaziq group. Hitay Payan had a long-standing commitment to the development of the Atayal Tribe's society, culture, and language. He consistently used an Atayal perspective for his presentations, interpretations, and translations, emphasizing that the Atayal oral traditions were not only practices and research subjects but also played a vital role in promoting cultural revival and preservation.

In the traditional society of the Atayal Tribe, there was no established written language, which means that the tribe's historical memories and cultural heritage were passed down orally through generations by their ancestors, often through storytelling and songs. The Taiwan Atayal Sustainability Association was officially recognized by the Hsinchu County Government in 2012 as the preserver of the Lmuhuw chanting practice. This recognition not only acknowledges their dedication to preserving key aspects of ethnic identity, such as the tribe's origins, migration history, and ancestral teachings but also highlights their commitment to the cultural heritage and its transmission.

(Photo credit: Hsinchu County Government)