CyberFair Project ID: 4945

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Singing the Unceasing Dream of Paiwan
Category: 4. Local Specialties

School: Liangshan Elementary School
    Majia Township, Pingtung County, Taiwan

7 students, ages 11-12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 13, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2007

Classes and Teachers: Shi-chi Shih, Yi-fang Tsai, Chi-chang

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

The name of Paiwan Tribe was originated from contacts between the villagers and the outsiders. When they asked for the name of this place, the villagers replied: Fawan. Therefore, the outside world called the indigenous people as Paiwan Tribe. Old Fawan is the right place where the Paiwan Tribe contacted the outside world. It is also the origin place of North Paiwan Tribe. Here, there are a large amount of stories about their love and hate in the history. So there are plentiful of history relics and articles, but everything has gone past along with the village and the old. Let our children return this land and watch the slabstone houses; make a nose flute with the old, and follow up the ancestors’ traces in the mountain.

We hope the Old Home of Vuvu could be maintained forever.

2. Summary of Our Project

Fawan, a beautiful and attractive name!

In the deep green forest, a small bamboo raft anchors in the purling water. Vuvu is looking at the playing children near the riverside with a bamboo-made smoke pipe in his mouth. There are arrays of slabstone room reflecting the southland bright sun on the hillside, and the noise of cicada submerges the faint nose flute music. Such a situation remained unchanged for centuries, as the old Paiwan Village became gradually a dreamland isolated with the real world. In order not to let it become a remnant memory of the valley, many old people spared no efforts to work in the field. They only expected to take foot on the homeland and see the mountain forest hiding in the clouds. The next-generation in Paiwan Village showed little interest on this land. For this reason, we hope that this project can link the old Vuvu with the young, and activate their losing memory and skills.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:21-50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:1

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

The internet connection of our school is provided by the ADSL connection of Pingtung County Network Center, and we also have a computer room with 18 computers with new P-IV motherboard and new screens. Apart from the computer class, the students are also allowed to use the computers during other class times and lunch breaks. During the period of preparing for the Cyberfair, the team members all made good use of their lunch break and worked on the project.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

(1) Lack of computer software: After having sought for assistance, the motherboards of the computers had been renewed, however, the computers all had no software but the basic word-processing software. Thus it was difficult to modify pictures, video clips and websites. Eventually, the teachers of the school provided the team with their personal software and a volunteer helper provided his personal computer to complete the task. We give them our sincere gratitude for their kindness (2) Learning how to do the project: This is the third time that our school entered the competition. Although many of the teachers have the experience of entering the competition twice before, it is the first time for all the student team members. For them, it was a brand new experience. They decided on the topic after many meetings and reviewing past projects. The project was able to progress smoothly with the teachers’ assistance in contacting tribal chiefs, elders, historians, the village head, and church workers. Many efforts have been put in the audio recording, translating, video taping, photo taking, visiting, making notes, correcting the information, and many interviews had been done with the tribal chiefs, in the old tribal site, and on tribal legends. All the information we’ve got is the result of careful and repeated corrections. (3) Gathering special information: It has been 33 years since Paiwan Village moved from a remote mountain area to the riverbank of Niujiao Bay in 1974 due to the inconvenience in transportation and the education for the younger generation. No pictures, photos and literary documentary of the move, and very few people could recall the event. Most of the people have only heard about it. Lately, there have been some people in the tribe started to study the tribe’s history, however, the speed of information gathering was too slow to overpower the memory deterioration over time. The accuracy of information regarding historical events could only be sought after by hearing from more people and deleting conflicting stories, as well as stories breaching personal privacy. The translation of the conversation with the tribal elders and chief were done by teachers who were fluent in the tribal language. We also give our thanks to the assistance of Chief Hui-mei Hsiao of Paiwan Village

5. Our Project Sound Bite

Old Fawan is actually like the cultural treasury map of North Paiwan Tribe, where there are lots of stories and relics for exploration, e.g. from the popular “Legend of Shooting the Suns” to the story of the nether world and ancestor. The old people could tell you many stories about local relics. Only when you have visited the slabstone house of the Old Fawan could you know the deep correlation between the culture of the Paiwan Tribe and the slabstone houses. Everything in the tribe is closely linked. So, field visit could help us really understand the soul of the Paiwan Tribe Culture. The New Fawan is linked closely with the Old Fawan. So there are a large amount of cultural treasures, e.g. a common Old Urn, which may be a valuable curiosity from Dutchman. So, you may cherish the opportunity to visit here!

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

1. Merging the social and multi-faced education: During the course of doing the project, we visited various parts of the village and the old tribal site for photo shooting and information gathering on Wednesdays and weekends. We shared the things we learned from those outings with students who were not involved in the project, and by showing them photos they were able to take the journey with us. Students were often surprised that there were so many interesting stories in the community they live in, and as a consequence of being intrigued by the stories, they would often went home and asked their parents things like: “what is our family tribal name?”, “where were we from”, and “where did we live?”. Every Wednesday afternoon the students would watch the project team went out for interviews with envious eyes, and asked us to tell the teachers that they would also like to join us. Unfortunately the students were not able to join us because there was not enough room in the cars. Nonetheless they would still bombard us with all sorts of questions regarding the project, it was really a task for us to answer them all! 2.Cultivating the love we have for our home town: While doing the project, we stepped out of the school and went into our tribe. Through the website, we hope to introduce people the beauty of our community, and to bring a piece of hometown for those who moved from the tribe to other parts of Taiwan, so that they would be proud of the remote Paiwan Village. We all worked really hard for achieving these goals, and we encouraged each other throughout the process. It is with hope that in the boundless world of the internet, the small Paiwan Tribe, the beauty of the deep mountain forest, and the old tribe full of legendary tales would be known by everyone. 3. Our journey of growth: We aimed to help every student to shift from passive executor to someone who is active in asking questions, planning and organizing; from a listener to a presenter; from a reader to a writer. Knowing how to ask questions, make notes, and analyze information in a way that makes sense to ourselves. We know that if we don’t do it now, we will lose more and more cultural history, and we will forever stay at the stage that we only speculate based on legends but not facts. The project also helped us improve our ability in using the mother tongue.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

Digital camera,Digital video camera,Scanner,Audio recorder,CD-Rom burner ,Computer software,The internet,Telephone ,Books,Field trips

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

With the starting point of cultural history, we visited the tribe’s elders and chiefs, who told us about the history. The information they gave us were translated by teachers or tribesmen fluent in the mother tongue, and they asked the elders and chiefs questions for us, in order to find some tracks to the past. We also visited historians of the tribe, who knew much about the history of Paiwan Tribe. Then we visited houses of the chiefs, in order to obtain more detailed information, as well as for the opportunity of seeing more exquisite historical articles in their houses. With so many visits, we hope to let people get to know more about the ordinary-looking Paiwan Tribe at the roadside of Yan-shan Highway. Although the village does not have dashing appearances, it is a place full of history, culture, natural features, and art. It is a place deserves your visit.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

1.The project’s effect on tourism: We often met some tourists on our outings. At first they were not sure what we were doing, but then with more understanding, they would show their admiration and appraisal for what we were trying to do. We hope that through the project tourists would be more interested in digging deeper for the tribe’s history. By knowing Paiwan Village, they would develop a love for old tribal sites, and would then grow to love tribal arts, history and culture. Moreover, we hope that by introducing Paiwan Village, people would have more understanding and become more interested in the tribe. Here in the village we have culture, history, natural scenery, Paiwan art, and it is also a good place for mountain hiking. The project could work together with the tourist bands of Maulin National Scenic Area, and attract more tourists. 2.The project’s effect on educational resources: The project could serve as an educational example, as well as the best resource for outdoor education. During the process of doing field trips, we learned that beautiful sceneries were just right next to us, and historical information was almost ubiquitous, all we needed to do was explore. We also hope that our passion could be delivered and touch more people.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Students 1. Conduct interviews 2. Take photos and record videos 3. Record interviewing contents 4. Edit written information 5. Plan for interview outlines 6. Write progress report 7. Collect information 8. Illustrate pictures Teachers 1. Hold meetings 2. Organize and analyze information 3. Instruct and check the website construction 4. Decide on the project name and plan 5. Assistance for computer skills Parents 1. Provide information 2. Project consultation 3. Tour guides Community residents 1. Provide information 2. Guide and explore paths Teachers 1. Contact interviewees 2. Translation Volunteers 1. Assist in instruction of website editing techniques 2. Help to edit webpages

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Getting to know the history of Paiwan Village was the most overwhelming thing for us. We learned that our village has a history of over a thousand year, and is one of the origins of Paiwan Tribe. The village has the art and culture of Paiwan Tribe, and many people have worked very hard for passing down Paiwan Tribe to the next generation. Through the process of working on the project, the teachers, team members and community residents all learned the beauty of this land, and how to treasure it. Although this land has no sky-scrapers and trains of cars, we have the simple and honest spirit that others don’t have, and the fresh air and the greens that everyone is after. We would like to tell everyone that we love living here; it is a place that we are proud of, and deserves a visit from you.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4945)

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