Sun Moon Lake (Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village)
It was a slightly rainy day but still a great one to see the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. In case you don't know, Formosa was an old name for Taiwan! ;) This park is half roller coasters, and half an educational exhibit on the aboriginal tribes of Taiwan. We only had half a day so we spent it learning about the native tribes. You get there from Sun Moon Lake by cable car. The view was, again, really gorgeous and it was close enough to a roller coaster in itself, since you have to cross over a couple mountains on the way.
This is a really bad picture- it was inside the museum and I couldn't get the lighting right. But I just want to show you that there are 26 tribes on this small island (according to the map). I believe only 13 or 14 are officially recognized and the park only has exhibits on 9 of them. (please correct me, I know I'm wrong on how many are recognized by Taiwan)
They had different houses reconstructed of different tribes- here's an example of one from the Paiwan tribe. My impression is that they are very short in general and pretty small. One tribe even had a custom to bury their ancestors inside their houses so that they can watch over and protect the family.
This is the "men's lodge" of the Paiwan tribe.
In the museum they showcased traditional clothes from different tribes. I loved it so much! Here's some pictures of them:
This tribe is super interesting. They're on a small island off the coast of Taiwan. The attire looks a little ridiculous because they cover their head but practically nothing else. However, I read that the helmet is used as protection in fights and also against evil spirits. They're famous for the boats they make and I've seen examples of the boats in China's National Palace Museum in Shanghai. Of course, they were grouped in the exhibit as one of China's aboriginal tribes.
I really want to go to their island someday though!!!
There were a couple of shows about the tribes and they were really interesting to me because I could see more concrete examples of the culture. :)
Next, the food!!!! For some reason I was starving the whole day, which was great since that meant we could try a lot of traditional food from the tribes.
That's millet rice, dried meat, and tarot. I really loved the rice!
And here's the famous bamboo rice. It's cooked inside a piece of bamboo, as you can see. There were also tiny taros. I normally hate taro but I loved it here!
Also from the museum. Can you believe children played with dried out fish?!
I feel like I've seen and heard this instrument in other places as well, but it's a common one for some of the tribes. You can see a video of it being played below.
In addition to going to shows, checking out the museum, and walking through traditional houses, there were some activities to try like: blow darts!!!!! (and archery)!!
This was so much fun! I never tried it before!!!
I think this was my second time with archery. It's not easy at all! Albert had a better time with it but somehow his form was correct (or he has big arms), and the string kept snapping against his arm. Got a big ole bruise for the rest of the day! :P
So that was only some of the cool things at the Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village. We were only there a half day and didn't even get to see all of it. It was a ton of fun though!!!