Address:No. 1 Museum Road, Taitung, Taiwan 95060
An exhibition displaying the results of an indigenous educational program is scheduled to open on Dec. 14 at the Peinan Cultural Park of the National Museum of Prehistory in Taitung County. Titled "Kiljivak:Paules' Pottery Bead Creations,” the exhibition will run through Dec. 29 and then be moved to the main museum site from Dec. 31 through Jan. 14, 2014.
"Kiljivak” means "heavenly gods” in the Paiwan indigenous tongue, and is often used in the context of describing a "loving and giving person.” After the devastating Typhoon Morakot in 2009, Jialan Village in Taitung was the recipient of humanitarian aid and support from all over Taiwan, in which the villagers had the opportunity to learn how to make ceramic beads in a series of art classes designed to help the survivors put their sad memories behind.
The organizer aims to introduce the Paiwan indigenous culture to more people by holding an exhibition on such pottery beads, which have always been closely associated to the eastern tribe.
The ceramic bead is an indispensable traditional accessory to the Paiwan people, with each embodying a subtle cultural meaning and symbolizing a difference in social status. For example, "beads of nobility” are worn by the tribal chief; "tear of the sun” means that the wearer is missing someone, and "beads of the land” symbolize prayers for a good harvest. Meanwhile, "beads of peacocks” are gifts exchanged between lovers. Compared with liuli glass beads, which can carry similar symbolism, pottery beads appear to appeal to people on a rawer, more honest level.
The museum has collaborated with the Council of Indigenous Peoples under the Executive Yuan in promoting "indigenous culture, art and education” for the past three years, with the artist-in-residency program at the Peinan Cultural Park attracting the most attention. The resident artists not only create artworks on site and teach in DIY sessions, they've also helped to promote indigenous culture and improve the park's display.
The resident artist this year is Paules Makakadruwan, a Paiwan pottery bead artist from the Jialan tribe in Taitung's Jinfeng Township. She has over four years of experience in crafting pottery beads.
Paules not only works on pottery bead creations but also teaches in her community and at a nearby elementary school. To showcase the fruits of her efforts, the exhibit also includes 36 of her personal creations and select works of her students － mainly the elderly in her community and young schoolchildren.