Flash Mob Goes Indigenous in Taipei Main Station — Do You Know What They Are Dancing?

Last week, a group of elementary school students from Taitung, many of whom are indigenous children, went on an amazing flash mob in Taipei Main Station hall, applauded by many audience! 

Familiar with some Taiwanese indigenous cultures? Which songs were they dancing with?


Here is the answer:

1. Beautiful Rice Grain by Baliwakes

Baliwakes is a Pinuyumayan poet from the community Puyuma in Taitung, Taiwan. He wrote the song, “Beautiful Rice Grain”, in 1958. In the year, the famous 823 Artillery War erupted between China and Taiwan, and many Pinuyumayan young men were dispatched to the front line in Kinmen and could not go back home.

And so Baliwakes wrote the song describing the great harvest of the rice grain in homeland to soothe the soldiers, letting them know that, “Everything back home goes well!”

2. Shield Dance

Shield Dance is a kind of dance still preserved among the Pinuyumayan communities of Katratripulr and Ulivelivek.

Some say the origin of the dance is about the indigenous people’s practice of head-hunting: Once upon a time, a Pinuyumayan soldier came back from a successful head-hunting but no tribal people realized and no one praised him, and so he jumped up and started to dance, trying to draw people’s attention. This is one of the origins of the dance.

No matter whether the story of origin is true or not, the children’s dance looked really energetic, didn’t it?


3. Wild Fire by Samingad

“Wild Fire” is said to originate from an ancient Pinuyumayan song and was sung by the popular Pinuyumayan diva Samingad in 2001. Here are the lyrics of the song:

a lu wan aluwana iya naya on
iya o yan i yE i yo yan uway ya
uwan hay ya o i yo yan hi yE
I yE yan uwa uwa yi yan hay yo o yan
i yE i yo yan uway ya
uwan hay ya o i yo yan hi yE
I yE yan uwa uwa yi yan hay yo o yan

The lyrics have no meaning, which is a common phenomenon among many Taiwanese indigenous peoples. But the song is to express the happiness of the singer basically.

Here is an mv of Samingad’s Wild Fire:


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Photo via Sheng-Shiung Hsu (CC Licensed)