As the film begins, one Orchid Islander says, “I often feel that the more research anthropologists do on this island, the worse the island is harmed…” This work is the visual anthropologist’s recorded answer to this question.
This film touches on the sensitive issues of national and ethnic identity in Taiwan. In 1965, Chen Yao-Chi directed the first objective Taiwanese documentary, Liu Pi-Chia. The main character, Liu Pi-Chia, was press-ganged into the Nationalist army in the 1940s in China, and came over to Taiwan with President Chiang Kai-Shek. After several decades, we unexpectedly met Liu in a
The Pasta’ay, which means the festival of the legendary little people, is a significant ritual held every other year in the Saisiat aborigine group in Taiwan.
In the historically most famous ancestral house of the matrilineal Amis tribe in Taiwan, the carved pillars tell legends. After a strong typhoon toppled the house 40 years ago, the pillars were moved to the Institute of Ethnology Museum. Recently young villagers, with assistance from female shamans, pushed the descendants and village representatives to communicate with ancestors in the pillars.