fulbright Taiwan online journal

fulbright Taiwan online journal

Author: Terry O'Reilly 易光海

Terry O'Reilly 易光海
Terry O'Reilly is an internationally active director, playwright and teacher. Co-artistic director of Mabou Mines Theater Company, New York, which has produced three of his plays: The Bribe, Animal Magnetism and Brer’ Rabbit in the Land of the Monkey King and soon to come The Sunshine Book written in Taiwan.

Contemporary Aboriginal. The Mixing.

For my Fulbright grant I chose a topic of immense richness: the aboriginal peoples of Taiwan. What I found exceeded my every expectation.  I have experienced countless encounters and exchanges, celebrated the sacred rites and important dates of the harvest and hunting calendars of the Pangcah (also known as Amis), the Paiwan, the Atayal and Saisiyat peoples.  My Fulbright grant became a mixture of scholarship and art. To begin at the beginning: I became aware of the cultural and artistic vitality of Taiwan during a short visit in 2005; and at that time I also began to learn about the Taiwanese aboriginals. I started to look into their origins. The scholarship is extensive and the science is far from settled, but everyone agrees that 9 out of the 10 branches of the Austronesian languages are spoken on Taiwan, and that the ‘Yuánzhùmín’, 原住民, the original people, have been living on Taiwan for at least 8 thousand years. Genetic and linguistic linkages establish a connection between the ‘Yuánzhùmín’ of Taiwan to other groups from Madagascar to New Zealand, Easter Island, the Philippines and greater Polynesia.  Competing models of a “Slow boat” or an “express train” to Polynesia are used by anthropologists

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Research & Reflections

fulbright taiwan online journal