If the culture of a tribe has not been recorded in historical documents, it will be lost through changing times.
Currently, there are many traditional cultural elements among the aboriginal tribes of Taiwan that are in danger of gradually disappearing. In light of this situation, the Pingpu Tribes are now making efforts to pass down their culture, by holding an annual Pingpu Night Sacrifice.
According to a Chinese saying, "Something that has been passed down for hundreds of years should not be ignored".
According to a Chinese saying, "Something that has been passed down for hundreds of years should not be ignored"
In other words, in this matriarchal society, the first ancestor was not Han Chinese, but Taiwan Aboriginal.
Many people in Taiwan maybe have Pingpu ancestry, thus, it does not matter whether one is Pingpu or Han Chinese, everyone is welcome to attend and learn more about the meaning and origins of the Liouchongsi Night Sacrifice, and to experience the mysteries of the Pingpu culture.
Through the sharing of the Pingpu culture and products, and through the holding of this ceremony, the people of Liouchongsi hope that others can learn more about their culture, and better understand the powers of nature and respect the natural environment.
The Pingpu Amah: The Inibs
"Inibs" are Pingpu (Taiwan Plains Aborigines) high priestesses charged with presiding over religious and ceremonial rites. Having a matrilineal/matrifocal society, the Pingpu do not have singular leaders such as tribal chiefs or chieftains and the like, and consequently, the "Inibs" serve as mediums between humans and the divine, and considered the most important conveyors for passing down knowledge of ceremonial worship rituals.
Pingpu peoples believe in the "Taizu" (or the "Alimu"), who is in charge of all life on earth, while the "Inibs" serve as mediums to the Taizu, who act as a medium to achieve communications between humans and the divine through the adaptation of ceremonial rites, spells, body movements and ritualistic vessels.
Inibs are the central figures in hosting ceremonies, and also engaging in performing various forms of witchcraft. At today’s all-important "Taizu Evening Ceremonies," a group of Inibs hosts the ceremonies with verbal-chanting and spell-casting, and leads the community in songs to entertain the gods, and are also charged with presenting the offering of a pig to all deities and spirits between heaven and earth at the clearing of the communal shrine.
The Inibs foster a unification and disciplinary strength in Pingpu society, and on the other hand, the manifestation of the Inibs in ritualistic ceremonies serves to actively preserve the Pingpu’s precious culture by showcasing the ritualistic and ceremonial aspects of their culture for all to witness and appreciate.
To see more
Data by Pingpu Culture Website
- Photo by Kaohsiung Laonong Elementary school website (1999/10/31)