Category Archives: Amis

Episode 86: Palakau

The Fata’an tribe of Hualien, Taiwan live in an area far from the sea with small rivers. Because of the Fata’an wetland, the indigenous people of the tribe developed a sustainable way of fishing called palakaw, or fish house.
Palakaw is a structure with three stories. The first story composes of bamboo tubes, the second level consists of wooden sticks. Vegetation would grow on the third level. Different kind of fish could live comfortably in each level. When people want to eat fish, they would only need to reach in.


Episode 84: Amis Fishing Net

Over thousands of years, indigenous people who live by the water have developed clever ways to fish. Fish traps, paralysing vines, fish spears and fish glasses are just some of the examples. Although methods are different due to different tribes having different environments, they all express oneness with nature and the knowledge passed down through generations. The Amis fishing net is a round shaped net. The greater the surface area, the more fish it can catch. This episode uses triangle, square, and round nets of the same perimeters and circumference to show that the one with the greatest area is the round net.

Episode 74: Thatched Houses

Episode 58: Pottery

Pottery making is a part of the lives of early Amis women. When making pottery, they must first collect earth. After removing the impurities, they must be wedged. The Amis use pieces of bamboo to beat the clay into shape. Once it is dried, then the first step is finished. Amis villages commonly use the wild firing method. Materials used for burning are natural, such as grass, rice husk, etc. During firing, the control of temperature and humidity is very important. Also, due to the carbon within the charcoal, some pottery may have black spots. Only after more than 10 days of drying and firing is the work finished.

Episode 57: Flint

The flint is a necessity for the early Amis when they go into the wild. The expert of this episode picks stones off the ground and produces sparks. To understand the scientific principles of a flint, the science teacher helps kids understand the characteristics of a quartz. By understanding the structure of a quartz crystal as well as how electrons are released, the kids know that when a quartz is beaten against iron, high temperature is released instantaneously, releasing electrons and sparks.

Episode 52: Amis Flute

Nomodac a tipolo is a traditional Amis flute. It uses a section of soft bamboo. With a knife, the flute maker would carve out the inner part of the bamboo, but carefully keep a thin bamboo membrane. Two holes are opened up on the ends of the bamboo. When one plays it, the air vibrates the membrane to make sound.
This episode uses straws and plastic wraps to teach kids about resonance.

Episode 37: Tree Bark Clothe