3. CONTEXT AND CASE

3.3 A TAYAL H ISTORY AND C ULTURE

3.3.1 Creation Myth and Historic Migration

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fishing. Their main crops included millet, dry rice, corn, beans, sweet potato, and taro (Norbeck, 1950; Olsen, 1998; Hsiao, 2008). Millet was of particular ritualistic, religious and symbolic importance (Kaneko, 2009) but many varieties fell out of cultivation with changing lifestyle patterns (Kuan – in conversation) and will be of interest to this research in terms of the revival of traditional crops.

Traditionally Atayal people have inhabited mountain slopes above 1000 meters in elevation and have no ethnic memory of life in any other type of environment (Kaneko, 2009). Communities comprised scattered hamlets with a watchtower accompanying each cluster of houses. Some accounts of early houses describe semi-subterranean structures (Olsen, 1998; Lu and Lin, 2008) while others depict small huts raised on poles with space for animals underneath (personal observation with local explanation 2013).

The famous Canadian missionary George Mackay writes of walking to Mount Sylvia (Snow Mountain 雪山 xueshan) with the help of some unassimilated

indigenous peoples (probably Atayal, pre-Christian as it was he who missionized them) and describes an animist belief system. He recounts stories of headhunting missions targeting the Han settlers, and how the chief would take both dreams and bird calls into account when making decisions about their trek (Mackay, 1896).

3.3.1 Creation Myth and Historic Migration

An important aspect of Tayal oral history is the historic migration northwards from an area of central Taiwan, likely Pinsbkan, today Ruian village in Ren’ai Township, Nantou County, sometime in the early 18th century (Berg 2013; Li 2001, Kaneko 2009). Figure 4 shows the various routes, with populations in the Northeast and Northwest becoming the Ts’ole linguistic subgroup and the North-central subgroups becoming known as the Sqoleq (the subgroup of importance to this research,

sometimes written Squliq or Sqlyk) while Figure 5 shows the current distribution of subgroups.

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Figure 4 -

Atayal Historic Migration Route (Li 2001)

Figure 5 -

Atayal Sub-groups

As family groups increased in size, further subdivision of family groups branched off seeking out untapped hunting grounds and productive land. In the North,

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as described in the oral tradition of Smangus Tribe, described by Icyeh (2011), quri-Sqabu near Dabajianshan (大霸尖山) was the separation point between three different lineages of the Sqoleq language group. To the East, what is now Datong Township, Ilan County, went the Mnibu lineage. To the North, following the Takejin River (塔克 金溪), the Mknazi lineage dispersed outward near present-day Cinsbu village (鎮西 堡), settling on the Southern side of the Taigan River (泰崗溪). Also following the Tekejin River North, the Mrqwang lineage settled on the North side of the Taigang River and as far West as Yufeng village and North to Wulai (Ulay 烏來). Figure 6 shows the present day positions of the Mknazi and Mrqwang groups (in dark purple and yellow respectively) in Jianshi Township, which are of primary interest to this research.

Figure 6

- Jianshi County Qyunams (waterwatch)

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While Atayal kinship is often described as having a strong patrilineal bias, it is also portrayed as having rather egalitarian power structures. A very important aspect of traditional Atayal life is the concept of Gaga, or the rules, customs, norms and manners in Atayal community life (Kuan, 2009). Described by Kuan as, “just how things should be. It is the exhortations from ancestors, the way one should behave him/her-self” (ibid). But Gaga is not just one thing or set of principles, rather each line of decent inherits a lineage-specific gaga that ties them to other groups with the same lineage, or qutux gaga, sharing gaga (ibid; Berg, 2013; Lu and Lin, 2008). The precepts of qutux gaga regulate most affairs, thus avoiding much need for hierarchical decision-making.

Kinship is also very important in terms of conflict resolution. In the time of headhunting and inter-village warfare, if two men from different communities were to meet while out hunting, they would each recount their patrilineal lineage until they found a common ancestor, thus preventing violence (Kuan: in conversation). This practice demonstrates the significance of connections; that peace and solidarity are forged through historic, cultural or political connections.

3.3.3 Gaga

Qutux gaga is the concept that guides people in both daily life and in larger applications such as traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) guiding agricultural practices and other aspects of land-use. In their discussion of the application of gaga precepts to the management of Common-Pool Resources (CPR) in the Jianshi Atayal area, Yen and Kuan (2003) conceive of gaga as an institution (employing the social theory usage of institution as a set of formal or informal rules that steer individual social behavior). Rather than seeing Gaga as a rigid set of rules however, Yen and Kuan (2003), Kaneko (2009) and Berg (2012) emphasize that Gaga is both adaptable and flexible, evidenced by the Atayal peoples’ historical migration to varying

mountain environments. Lin Y. et al (2007) point out that these are complex and flexible concepts with some qalang (settlements) representing only one gaga while others containing multiple gagas, meanwhile one gaga may also represent multiple qalang. Violation of gaga was thought to bring misfortune not just upon individuals, but the entire community. If one violated gaga, he or she may fail to catch wild boars while hunting, would fall more easily on dangerous mountain slopes and would be

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bitten more easily by mosquitoes. Major violations of gaga, such as the breaking of sexual taboos, required special rituals to restore order (Mowna 1998; 59).

Gaga is intimately related to the concept of utux, which is comparable to the English concept of a soul (Lu and Lin, 2008). Upon death, one’s utux leaves the body and crosses the hongu utux (rainbow bridge) to enter the post-mortal world. To enter, one must prove they have lived a life consistent with Tayal gaga. This concept will be important in this research in terms of culturally bound morals and principles of

livelihood, land use and economic behavior.

3.3.4 Atayal Resource Management Systems

Prior to the colonial age, the Atayal had a complex system of property rights institutions. According to the Shulin Township Anthropologist Masaw Mowna (1998), Atayal, “think that property is life” (p. 59). Atayal property rights were divided into public property and that belonging to families and individuals.

Collectively owned property included hunting grounds, mountains, forests, waters, uncultivated lands, lands abandoned by the deceased, tribal pathways, animals and fish that lived within those territories, and other mountain products such as bees and honey. Private property included cultivated land, agricultural products and tools, bamboo groves, and private pathways (Simon, 2006).

Since property was thought to carry the souls of the ancestors and represented hope for future generations, the protection of property rights was regulated by the moral order of gaga. Even within the tribe, property rights could not be transferred from one family to another without religious rituals that include the sacrificial slaughter of pigs (Mowna, 1998, p. 187). Tribal property rights were also jealously guarded from incursion by enemy tribes and rigorously enforced.”

In a chapter demonstrating the importance of making use of indigenous languages and local informed participation in conservation projects, Lin, Icyeh, and Kuan (2007) provide a valuable outline of the character of territorial dynamics in the area of interest. First they explain that maps have long been long been used in the area in various ways, “vocal chanting is a common method by which Atayal and many other indigenous peoples in Taiwan communicate how ancestors moved from one place to another” (p. 142). This is significant in part, the authors go on to point out, because within Atayal culture there are clear, culturally bound notions of geographic areas, boundaries and how they are divided between groups for various uses.

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However, these concepts do not easily or directly translate to the Chinese or English language words for “territory” which are based on fixed boundaries with exclusive ownership. In Atayal traditional land-use principles, there are instances of shared territory between groups as well as flexible boundaries and both are influenced by social relations between and within communities (Lin Y. et al, 2007, p. 146).

The closest Atayal term to the English word, territory, is Qyunam, which is an area shared by a lineage group for the purposes of hunting, gathering, farming and fishing, it usually corresponds to a watershed area. The example provided by Lin Y.

et. al (2007) describes the situation in the area relevant to this research. All the Qalang, settlements, in the Mrqwang lineage share a Qyunam and by that right acknowledge their responsibility to Malahang, which means to take care of that area.

However, individuals from the Mknazi lineage had the right to enter the Mrqwang Qyunam in order to hunt. According to one elder in the Mrqwang lineage, “the Mknazi live farther away and have more difficulty in capturing prey” and Mrqwang people were also welcomed and given more fish in the Qyunam of the Mknazi (ibid, p.

146). Thus the two lineages have distinct and complex yet flexible and non-exclusive territories that are shaped by social cooperation and relations.

3.4 The Case Area Historical Overview

In this section, a brief introduction to the case area will be provided, followed by an historical outline of the phases of agrarian land-use. As argued by Lin, N. and Tsai (2011), the land-use regimes in the area have shifted through several major phases influenced by political and social context and, in turn, represent a local paradigm about resource management. This is not the only way to categorize the recent

historical phases of the area, but as this thesis focuses on social aspects of agricultural development, it seems most appropriate.

Lin and Tsai identified 3 main phases of agricultural development: traditional swidden agriculture, wet rice farming production, and diverse cash crops connected with the market economy. While this thesis includes discussion of the first two phases, it departs from Lin and Tsai’s work and follows that of local farmer,

researcher and activist, Watan Taru, who further divides the final phase (which does involve participation in the market economy) into conventional farming, Organic Farming, Korean Natural Farming and Indigenous Natural Farming, the final three of which I categorize under the banner of “Alternative Agriculture.”

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It is important to note that each community and family make important decisions about what to plant and cultivate that are both to some degree autonomous but also influenced and/or sanctioned by local and national governmental policies.

Especially with democratization and a more market-oriented economy, agricultural production in the area is diverse but with some identifiable trends. For these reasons the agricultural periods outlined in this research and their respective dates are generalities with many exceptions and divergences.

Figure 7 - Jianshi Agricultural Phases

3.4.1 Location, Terrain and Industry

This research will focus on the activities of the “Farmers’ Academy” and the “Dream Weaving Foundation” in the transition to organic farming in various Qalangs in Atayal Mrqwang and Mknazi lineages’ Qyunams located in the Shihluan village-administrative-unit (秀巒村 Xiuluancun, shown in pink, bottom right of figure 4) and Yuifong village-administrative-unit (玉峰村 Yufengcun, shown in purple, top right of figure 4) under the administration of Hsinchu County’s (新竹縣) Jianshi Township

(尖石鄉). It makes up a total area of around 300 square kilometers, with a hilly terrain hitting 3,500 meters in altitude in the Southeast down to 1,000 meters in the North.

This area is the upstream watershed of the Shihmen Reservoir (石門水壩) in Taoyuan

Traditional Swidden Agriculture

Terraced Rice Production

Conventional Agriculture

Alternative Agriculture

• Organic Agriculture

• Korean Natural Farming

• Indigenous Natural Farming

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County (桃園縣), consists of 3 sub-watersheds and its Southern tip is part of Sheipa National Park (雪霸國家公園), a conservation area in an environmentally delicate region (Lin E., 2009, p. 5). The area is home to a great diversity of flora, such as cherry blossoms, maples, Formosan cypress, and fauna, including Sminhoe’s Blue Pheasant, Formosan Wild Boar, white-faced flying squirrel and varicorhinus alticorpus (an endemic freshwater fish). As Lin, E. (2009) goes on to point out, the area’s geological condition is complicated and vulnerable to many shocks and hazards from earthquakes, typhoons and resultant landslides due to its mountain structure and extreme precipitation patterns as well as acid rain and climate variation related to global climate change and local ecological destabilization (p. 7).

Figure 8 –

Village-level Administrative Units of Jianshi Township

The main industry in the area is agriculture, thus leaving livelihoods sensitive to the afore-mentioned environmental challenges. To demonstrate how climate change has affected the area, Lin, E. (2009) provides the following example:

“villagers said that now you hardly see snow in winter, while there was heavy snowing just twenty years ago” (p. 8). Other livelihoods in the area include tourism, bamboo gathering, and part-time jobs; many working-age people will leave for portions of the year to seek wage-labour to supplement their agricultural production and diversify their income as insurance against potential natural hazards.

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The main productive period for agricultural products is from April to October, with many farmers rotating crops throughout the year. While much of the production is for household or local consumption, farmers often grow one or two vegetables or fruits of high market value as cash-crops per year; particularly honey-peaches (水蜜 桃) at 90% of production and persimmons and pears (Lin, E., 2009, p. 9). Most commonly grown vegetables include cabbage, broccoli, sweet pepper, tomato, garlic, and kidney beans. Traditional crops include root tubers, mushrooms, beans and millet, which has great symbolic significance in Atayal culture and is used in ritual and wine making as well as eating. Farmers often grow different variations of crops based on their biophysical environment, wealth, needs, knowledge and context with

susceptibility of crops to environmental hazards depending on their seasonality.

Figure 9 - Timetable of harvest and earnings

Colloquially, Jianshi township is divided into “back mountain” (後山) and

“front mountain” (前山) areas. The front/back mountain distinction is based on the naturally occurring ridge or watershed point that divides the township into two areas.

The front area encountered modernity first and the Japanese colonial government removed some villages from the back to the front area and others made the move voluntarily. The back mountain area has traditionally been poorer and more

traditional but it can be argued that this has proved to be an advantage as they have been able to maintain cultural knowledge and identity as well as the opportunity to decide their own pace of development. They are now able to benefit from more post-modern development paradigms. The front mountain area, while richer in some ways,

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Agri-peach

Agri-Persimmon Agri-vegetables

Bamboo Tourism Part-time jobs

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more urbanized and more assimilated into mainstream culture in Taiwan, also has many social problems such as alcohol issues, family disruption and unemployment.

People from the front mountain area used to think the back mountain people were backwards, but now there are moves to learn from them as they are better able to incorporate traditional Atayal culture in economic development.

3.4.2 Traditional Swidden Agriculture Period (before 1920s)

Traditionally, Atayal people’s agricultural production was subsistence-based and consisted primarily of swidden mountain-side agriculture producing millet, corn, and sweet potato with supplementary foods planted or gathered from the forest such as squash, pumpkin, chive, ginger, wild vegetable, pepper, beans as well as meat and fish from hunting (although, as mentioned above, there is some evidence that hunting and gathering historically made up the majority of their diet, by the time of initial Japanese ethnological research, swidden agriculture had become the mainstay) . The social norms, traditions, and rituals of the community governed each stage of the process and land-use decisions (Lin, N and Tsai, 2011). These social institutions, traditions, values and rules supported their social and production systems.

In Quri Settlement Taru Behwy, one of the leaders in the transition to alternative forms of agriculture and father of PhD candidate and key community organizer Watan Taru, describes the traditional livelihood in the area of his childhood as involving a handful of commonly-owned plots that would be used in a shifting pattern. The use of multiple plots and more diverse crops increased the resilience of the community against risks such as pests and weather events. Common ownership meant increased interdependence and as such increased cooperation. When it was time to shift, to open up a new plot of land using fire and leaving the old parcel to lie fallow for a few years, the community would negotiate and decide collectively the next course of action.

Taru Behwy describes that they would traditionally grow millet from February until July but in June (before the millet had come to term) sweet potato could be planted in the same field and harvested a few months afterward. From September to February was hunting season and also the time to prepare the plot for the next planting.

These days, they are unable to shift their fields due to Forestry Bureau laws that make it illegal to open up new land for cultivation. This means that the land

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currently in use cannot lie fallow; hence either conventional methods of commercial fertilizer must be used or alternative techniques. Taru Behwy is quick to point out that this policy devised by outsiders incentivizes bad stewardship of the land, whereas traditional methods of shifting agriculture protect the land and the water. Furthermore, they are limited by road access to sometimes spread-out tracts of cultivated land.

Pastor Tali is an elder who is very active in the community and his grown children and grandchildren are active in the organic farming movement and the FA.

He tells of being born near Neiwan (內彎) during the Japanese Period. His family, like most others in the area, had been moved to the front of the mountain by the Japanese for about 20 years, but found life there very difficult. His father was one of the first to return to the back-mountain area, Pastor Tali was 4 or 5 years old at the time. They established a settlement at Cinsbu (鎮西保) and then expanded to

Xinguang (新光), so named by a police officer from the plains area who tells a story of seeing sunshine in his sleep. The locals prefer the emic name Smangus or Mangus, derived from that of a founding ancestor.

“We had no tools other than a simple hoe that could easily be broken if misused or if the land was too rocky.” Pastor Tali recalls the traditional farming techniques employed by his family when he worked alongside his father as a child.

He is now a spritely old man who looks and moves like a much younger man than one in his nineties. They would not clear-cut the land but rather left many of the large trees intact, cutting down branches for firewood and to let the sunlight reach the

He is now a spritely old man who looks and moves like a much younger man than one in his nineties. They would not clear-cut the land but rather left many of the large trees intact, cutting down branches for firewood and to let the sunlight reach the

在文檔中 有機之根: 台灣泰雅族部落替代性食物網路與發展之研究 - 政大學術集成 (頁 44-0)