Hua Tung (Hualien-Taitung) area, homeland of the Amis
people, is closed in by rows of mountains and the ocean.
Surrounded by these barriers, the tribe has become rather
dependent on their natural neighbors as providers for
their daily needs, developing the knowledge and ability
to live off of nature by hunting and fishing. This has
become an important part of their culture that has been
passed down from generation to generation.
the world around them becomes more developed, the convenient
lifestyles of the modern world inevitably invade and
replace more traditional ways. Thus, it's very rare nowadays
to find someone like Liu Lin Liang Fa, who still treasures
and practices the traditions of his ancestors.
Lin Liang Fa is well known for his bamboo creations.
He single-handedly designed and built a watchtower using
bamboo, earning him first prize at the National Aborigine
Arts and Crafts Contest. Some of his other works include
the 25 bamboo cupboards and the three-floor-high bamboo
watchtower that he specially built last year for the
Amis Cultural Festival held in Cheng Gong Township in
the Amis society, kinship is matrilineal. Male spouses
and children bear the family name from the female spouse's
side, thus the Liu has been added in front of his original
name, Lin Liang Fa. This 67-year-old Aborigine is a man
with a bold personality and a well-built physique. He
has kept the lifestyle of his ancestors, living independently
off of the natural materials provided by his environment.
With his own skills he hunts in the mountains for food
and built his own shelter out of bamboo.
In his earlier days, he spent most of his time learning traditional craft
making skills from his elders. After six or seven years of being a professional
fisherman at sea, he decided to retire. His restless personality now
leads him to spend most of his free time up in the mountains where he
takes these raw materials, combined with his natural talents, to create
traditional Amis-style crafts. His work ranges from delicately woven
bamboo containers to small wooden cabins, most being functional items
that he uses in his daily life. He also uses some leftover materials
to create a recycled sculptural piece that has the appearance of a motorcycle.
Although this caught a buyer's attention, the artist refused to sell
it because he considered it an experimental model with lots of room for
back to the traditional lifestyle of his ancestors, his
retired life has been fulfilling for him for the most
part. He keeps himself rather busy, spending the majority
of his time up in the mountains living with nature. He
often worries that his ancestors' knowledge and skills
will slowly become a mere legend for the younger generations,
and uses his talents to make traditional Amis-style crafts
as an effort to prolong the original spirit of his tribe.
that man wearing the straw hat? That would be Liu Lin
Liang Fa, an artist and exceptional member of his tribe
dedicated to maintaining the true Amis spirit.