[ Hsinchu ] Atayal Tribal Musical Jouney – Part II

[ 山窮水盡疑無路, 柳暗花明又一村 ]
The second day in the depth of mountains, we saw this semi-abandoned church. If there were no people in there, you would’ve thought it was a ruins. On a sunny weekend, you’d see 20 or so kids singing and playing games with their teacher in here. But it rained on that day, so the place was rather quiet. We went hiking up further up into a place that we would’ve never known existed – a traditional home burial site (屋內葬) and after getting ourselves soaked, we “cooked” ourselves around a fire place in a small “village” that reminds me of some sort of 客棧 (hotel in the very old Chinese days for long-distance travelers). That was…

quite some place like another paradiso. :p Somewhere where you could easily get lost by trying to find the way to it!

About 10 of us slept in this large room for the night at a church on a hill (桃山教會).

The first view for  the morning. It’s quite refreshing.


This is not a leaf.. These are living creatures!

After breakfast, we walked fast a church that seems to have fell into ruins (but is still being used as a gathering place on weekend).

It was a church activity for kids – largely involving singing and playing games.

After we caught up with our bus, the bus took us to the starting point of a hike that were to last way longer than we expected and got us totally soaked because of the rain and our poor rain coat. It was uphill all the way up (more difficult than it looks here, especially in the rain). This photo was taken when we had 1/3 of the way left to go.  It’s a farm on a mountain full of ripe 柿子.

This is a “different” sort of hike – to see the home burial site – a place that doesn’t want to be disturbed – we walked into the bamboo forest.


[ 屋內葬 ] Home Burial
This is a tomb of the ancestor of our main guide/instructor. According to the local Atayal tradition, when an elder died in the house, they would bury the personin curling position under the person’s bed. A house will normally have 2~4 burials before the inhabitants decide to move to another place to build a house. This tomb was originally ‘in” a house but as you can see, the house is no longer there.

After hiking in the rain and got us all soaking wet, we fell asleep on the bus and by the time we woke up we were somewhere else. A place that gives me an impression of a “龍門客棧” for some strange reason. This “village” is actually designed to showcase the aboriginal wood-carving art. There are regular wood-carving lessons taking place here.

Name of the place: 民都有雕刻班 (literal pronounciation: Minduyou Wood-Carving Class)
Address: 新竹縣五峰鄉桃山村13鄰209之18號 (i think it’d be pretty hard to find it unless you have a GPS..)
Email: lyiking.yuma@msa.hinet.net


This place was pretty much in the middle of nowhere!! But it has such a peaceful other-worldly feel, like the elf’s world in Lord of the Ring I suppose.. haha.

After hiking in the rain, we had to warm ourselves somewhere. The hot tea also tasted quite good.

Our jeans were all soaked when we were hiking. So we attempted to steam dry it here. Can you see the steam coming out from our jeans!! haha. it was definitely a slow process and could potentially cook our feet or toes without us knowing it!!! (you won’t feel the heat as much if your body adjuste to the temperature).


The owner of this place are so cute and friendly!

We had our best meal at this place.


We “sneaked” in (ie. uninvited) to a room that looked more like an office and saw on the wall that there were many classic-looking photographs of the older generation (more like the aboriginals who were much more close to their roots). They have tattoos on their face – tattoo on the face is usually a symbol of that person’s power or status.

We had some cheerful singing moments by the fire place.

After that  we went back to the Music Hall for more handcraft and music workshops to end our trip.

I somehow don’t look right with the instrument.. hahah.

You could make this “star” out of bamboo!!

Making use of the things you could find locally and turn them into something very different!

Event: 新竹縣 97’年度 社區深度文化之旅 Hsinchu County 2008 Annual Community Cultural Excursion
Event organized by: 新竹縣五峰鄉黑崮部落原物藝術文化產業協會
Phone: 03-5856-213
聯絡人:  錢總幹事.


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