Monthly Archives: May 2012

Episode 94: Pottery

Pottery, whether in the Rukai or Paiwan, is an important symbol. The Rukai believe that their own ancestors were born in clay pots. They see clay pots, as “divine pots”. To the Paiwan, clay pots are not only where ancestral spirits reside, but they are deeply related to history, beliefs and cultures.
But how are clay pots made?Where do the material come from?Can ordinary mud and sand be made into pots?What details do they need to pay attention to?
In this episode, we visit a Paiwan pottery expert, and we learn each step of its production.Through experimentation, we also find out the different characteristics of clay and sand.

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Episode 93: Temporary Bridge

For Atayal living by the river, the hongu (temporary bridge) is an excellent way to travel between villages.In the past, Atayal men hunt for a living. In order to ensure that women can pass rivers safely to forage, the men of the village work together to build temporary bridges, which also helps with gathering water.
The Atayal temporary bridge used bamboo, crape myrtle, vines, and grass fern as materials, but due to different environments, the bridges differ from place to place.But how did they build temporary bridges, and what scientific principles are used?

Episode 92: Swamp Grassland

In Mudan Township, Pingtung County’s Tungyuan Village, sits a prairie as far as the eyes can see. This paradise is a vast wetland, and a favorite for many ecologists. Year-round, the grass is green and grows knee high, offering a very rich wetland ecosystem.Walking in the swamp grasslands, one can feel that its water under the grass, yet it’s like walking in a prairie that shakes and gradually sinks.It feels like walking on a matress.How did this large grassland on water form?Why won’t people walking on it fall in?