1. Description of Our Community
Jing-Yue Tribe locates in Nan-Au Village of I-Lan County, a place where you can see mountains and rivers, hear birds singing and smells the flowers. Most of the inhabitants belong to Tai-Ya Tribe. They are down-to-earth and kind people. Due to social reasons, most of them are unemployed and live their lives by growing simple crops and hunting. Even in such difficult situation, they are still very optimistic people, living every day to its utmost. In leisure hours, they would chat and drink alongside the Jing-Yue waterfall with friends, singing and dancing in the breeze. What a joyous moment!
2. Summary of Our Project
Jing-Yue Tribe (used to be called Ryohen) is a Tai-Yai Tribe situated in the mountain area in Nan-Au Village of I-Lan County. It is facing the sea against the mountain of beautiful scenery. This excellent geographic environment incubates an extraordinary culture, and the secret and gorgeous legend of the tribe does not decrease a bit even long time has passed. The completeness of the culture, the moving Tai-Ya songs, dances, colorful and elegant handmade cloth, and simple wood-carving totems, remains. The hot spring and waterfall of the tribe constitute the legend and the unique culture of the Jing-Yue Tai-Ya culture. However, the modernization process has caused worries that if such a beautiful culture will fade away with its valuable history? The aim of the project is to allow the indigenous students, carrying with them modern hi-tech facilities, as the inheritors of the legend, to experience and to feel the people who used to breathe and live on this land and how they formed such a moving culture and traditions on this barbarous but beautiful land. The final goal is to preserve the ethnic culture of the community and the schools will no longer simply just play the role as schools. The responsibility we share is to witness and to inherit the history.
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:dial-up modem
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
We finished the design of the website in school and stored it in the teacher’s computer, connected to the Internet with education optical network 100MB broadband, through Network Neighborhood.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
We met once or twice a week in average for interviews or discussions during summer and winter vacations. During term time, we met on Saturdays, Sundays and 19:00-21:00 pm every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for data processing. Most of the students had to go to church on the weekends. Some of their parents worked in remote areas and tended to bring them out on holidays. Other parents did not come back and students had to stay at home taking care of their grandparents and chores. It was not possible that we could have good control over the attendance rate. The teacher used the time when students were at school to discuss with them and asked the students to write down about their thoughts, positively encouraging them to ensure that the maximum number of students attended every activity. The project aims to look inside the evolution and heritage of the tribe and Tai-Ya arts and culture with the method of conducting interviews and gathering information about the subject. Research topics include the introduction to the community and its history, together with discussions on its six main cultures (music, dance, cloth weaving, rattan weaving, wood carving and hunting). The information sources are the local grand old men and culture workers, added by designed courses at school, and we believe this will effectively help the heritage of the culture. Language was considered to be a major problem during the interviews. Some of the old people spoke only the Tai-Ya aboriginal language mixed with a lot of Japanese. They did not quite understand Chinese. We asked volunteer parents of students or teachers who spoke the aboriginal language to be the translators during the interviews. Contents of the interviews were recorded by voice pen. Due to the lack of written records of the past, especially records of the community, people in the tribe have gradually forgot about their history or been assimilated into the mainstream values of the society today. Therefore, part of the interviews was mistaken or incomplete. Apart from searching for useable information as much as possible from the limited resources, we further asked helps from the Village Office and grand old men, the village head and all culture workers of the community. We could therefore locate the most accurate and complete history after comparison among diversified information.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Learn the beauty of Tai-Ya culture, increase our ethnic identity. Embrace the world, create the future.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
The project aims to look into all kinds of unique cultures of the traditional Tai-Ya community. The school organized relevant classes of different subjects for students. Besides allowing students to be acquainted with the Tai-Ya culture, we further hope to pass on the traditional Ta-Ya culture to the next generation through teaching, not only promoting the concept in paper works. The theme of such courses is to introduce the history and culture of the tribe or its local characteristics. We formed different themes every semester. The design and level of the courses were organized suitable for students of different grades. Currently we have organized courses on investigations in local hot springs and waterfalls, lectures and practices on hunting, all very popular among students. We organized different artistry courses every semester, for example courses like cloth weaving, wood carving, pottery and so forth, aiming to pass on the Tai-Ya traditional skills to all students and the new generation. Teachers of these courses were local culture workers who came every Wednesday afternoon. The integrated activities held twice a week were arranged for teaching Tai-Ya traditional dancing and music and have been practiced for quite a long time. The school team participated in a lot of competitions and performances outside the campus and once won the champion in the national dancing competition. In addition, we also designed self-learning courses based on the traditional Tai-Ya culture for students, together with the project, in order to form students’ identity towards their homeland and ethnic group. We organized a trip of searching the root of Jing-Yue Village this semester. The team leaders were old people of the tribe, leading students to explore and see where the homeland of their ancestors was. Other activities like scientific exhibitions and researches on hunting and cloth dying of Tai-Ya were all with impressive results.