Day #124: An Aboriginal festival in Yuli


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Asia » Taiwan » Hualien » Yuli
August 4th 2013
Published: August 15th 2013
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The East coast has the highest concentration of Aboriginal people in Taiwan. This is harvest season, so one of the tribes local to Yuli had it annual celebration to thank the gods for a successful crop.

The festival took place in the evening on the local playing field, with stalls selling food and drink and various fairground-style games (similar to the night market). The tribe elders were seated on a stage and a succession of performances of traditional song and dance were performed in front of them. The field was badly lit so it was difficult to see what was going on, but the dancing was definitely energetic. Mixed groups of teenagers performed first (perhaps to appeal to them, some of the traditional music had been "remixed" so that it sounded like '90s Europop, and the dancing was sort of traditional-cum-disco) and then the older women of the tribe.

The Aboriginal people tend to be poorer than the general population, as they are usually farmers, living in rural areas. Because of this, more and more are attracted to urban areas and increasingly are integrated into the rest of the population, so the festivals are considered important in keeping the traditions alive.


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