CIP Minister Icyang (right) presents glass beads from Taiwan’s indigenous Paiwan tribe to Te Ururoa Flavell, CEO of Maori tertiary institution Te Wananga o Aotearoa, at the CIP April 22 in New Taipei City. (Courtesy of CIP)
Council of Indigenous Peoples Minister Icyang Parod met with Te Ururoa Flavell, CEO of Maori tertiary institution Te Wananga o Aotearoa and former New Zealand minister of Maori development, at the CIP April 22 in New Taipei City to discuss cultural exchanges between the two sides.
According to Icyang, Taiwan indigenous groups and the Maori share a cultural, genetic and linguistic heritage as they lie along the Austronesian-speaking peoples’ migration pathway. Exploration of these historical ties can bring benefits for both sides, he said.
Related efforts in this regard include a trip by Maoris from the Ngati Manu tribe in New Zealand’s Karetu region to Taiwan last August. Sponsored by the CIP, it included visits to the annual harvest festival of the Amis tribe and the Indigenous Peoples Cultural Development Center in southern Taiwan’s Pingtung County.
This was followed by a similar trip in February by 10 Amis teenagers to the Maori Ngati Manu community in which they learned the ceremonial haka dance, music and traditional hunting and fishing methods. They also shared Amis customs with their counterparts.
Another key development is the upcoming launch of the headquarters for the Taiwan-initiated Austronesian Forum, Icyang said. Expected to open later this year in Palau, this venue will facilitate expanded cooperation in fostering cultural ties and sustainable development among nations that share Austronesian heritage, he added.
Indigenous peoples have lived in Taiwan for millenniums. The latest CIP statistics revealed that the population of the country’s 16 officially recognized tribes stands at around 560,000, or 2.3 percent of the total 23.5 million. (HC-E)