Accepted paper:

Remembering of "islands"local knowledge and localization embedded in the traditional folk songs among the Tao in Orchid Island

Author:

Cheng-hsien Yang (National Dong Hwa University)

Paper short abstract:

This study conducted a textual analysis of traditional Tao folk songs to explore the history of the Tao tribe’s migration from their homeland to a foreign island (Orchid Island), after which the Tao people adapted to the living environment on the island by constructing a localized knowledge system.

Paper long abstract:

The people of the Tao tribe living on Orchid Island in Taiwan use an oral instruction language system; in addition, traditional Tao folk songs constitute a cultural complex because understanding them involve comprehending and interpreting the multiple meanings in the songs. What information can be derived from folk songs? How is such information applied? How do the tribe's folk songs reflect local knowledge in daily life? How do the Tao people stratify their society and differentiate specific social meanings? To the Tao people currently living on Orchid Island, traditional folk songs act as a carrier for transferring knowledge on their tribal culture and migration history. Moreover, traditional folk songs often reflect social norms and cultural taboos at specific historical stages. Some folk songs indicate the Tao people's ecological and economic perceptions toward the island's natural resources. This study conducted a textual analysis of traditional Tao folk songs and through a field investigation to explore the history of the Tao tribe's migration from their homeland to a foreign island (Orchid Island), after which the Tao people adapted to the living environment on the island by constructing a localized knowledge system. In addition, this study evaluated the local social relationships associated with traditional Tao folk songs as well as the effects external knowledge has had on Tao folk songs. Therefore, the findings of this study may facilitate determining how the Tao people use folk songs to embody the cultural landscapes constructed through localization.

panel WIM-GF06
The formulation of regional fourth world movement: on transnational contexts among the indigenous peoples in Asia-Pacific area