Finish year

Ka-bak-sua and the Siraya Ping Pu Grandmother

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Year :


  • Taiwan
Color :
Running Time :
45 min
  • Ethnology
  • Folk
  • Religion


Since the Dutch invasion in the mid-1600s, followed by colonial invasions from other countries, the Siraya (one of the ping pu aboriginal groups) have suffered "in life and in death." Now, nearly 350 years later, it appears that the Siraya have disappeared from the plains of Tainan County in Taiwan. Due to the political agenda of the National KMT, the Siraya are not mentioned in history textbooks, or listed in the official documents as an indigenous group. In fact, scholars have too often mistakenly proclaimed the totalassimilation of the Siraya into Han Chinese culture. As a result, younger Taiwanese do not know of them, nor do they live in the memories of most older citizens. It is as if the Siraya have just vanished.

Yet, the Siraya have never ceased to exist. They still live, breathe and work the land of southern Taiwan. They refuse to give up their own distinctive culture and accept that of the Han Chinese. Instead, they insist on performing traditional rituals, such as worshipping their goddess, A-li-mu, even though they may be stigmatized as 'fan-a', or even mocked as "savage."

Ka-Bak-Sua is the ancient name of Tung-She village in Tung-Shan Hsiang, Tainan County. Ll Ren-Ji is the official Siraya ang-1(shaman), "Medium of A=li-mu." She is 85-years-old and still serves a vitally important mission in life. A-li-mu selected her to become shaman. The Siraya believe that only shamans can communicate with the spirits of their ancestors. Ll Ren-Ji, a seemingly ordinary grandmother, is a powerful ang-1 who relieves her people's misfortunes and suffering. She carries the responsibilities of a thousand years of Siraya tradition. Her unique spiritual role enriches her life, and preserves the culture of the Siraya.


Source: Taiwan International Documentary Festival


2000 Taiwna International Documentary Festival - Taiwan Focus: Landscape of Life
2000 Taiwna International Documentary Festival


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