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Taiwanese indigenous literature exhibited in Guam

  • Date:2023-10-12
Taiwanese indigenous literature exhibited in Guam

The National Museum of Taiwan Literature (NMTL) and the National Taitung University jointly displayed the Taiwanese indigenous people’s literature at the 2023 Taiwan-Guam Austronesian International Arts Exhibition in Hyatt Regency Guam from Oct. 6 to Oct. 10.


The University of Guam invited the NMTL to join in this exhibition after their signing of an MOU in January. Due to this special opportunity, the NMTL arranged for indigenous writer Salizan Takisvilainan (沙力浪) from the Bunun tribe to present a speech on his poetry “Tina’s Words” (“tina” means “mother” in the Bunun language) on Oct. 7. The speech was applauded by the audience. 


Salizan Takisvilainan shared his story and said that he started to realize cultural differences when he left his hometown for school, and due to the gradual loss of Bunun language, people from his community are distanced from their own culture. He set up a studio in his hometown in order to search for tina’s language and to revitalize the community. He pointed out that because the Bunun people lived in the mountains, there is no such word as “ocean” in the Bunun corpus, only “ngiav” (lake), highlighting a contrast in the perception of space with Guam’s marine culture. 


The director of NMTL Nikky Lin (林巾力) congratulated the team and mentioned that this is the first time the NMTL exhibited the Taiwanese indigenous people’s literature in a foreign language. 


The exhibition showed the history of Taiwanese indigenous literature and the collection of English-translated works so far, such as “Hunter School (獵人學校)” by Ahronglong Sakinu, “The Soul of Jade Mountain (玉山魂)” by Husluman Vava, “Sorceress Diguwan (笛鸛:大巴六九部落之大正年間)” by Badai, “My Dear Ak’i, Please Don’t Be Upset (親愛的Ak'i,請您不要生氣)” by Paiz Mukunana, and “The Fish That Live in a Tree: Lokot (樹上的魚《Lokot鳥巢蕨)” by Kuei Chun Miya. These books will be a part of the University of Guam’s collection, inviting more readers to discover the depth of Taiwan’s Austronesian culture.