06 the friendly cycle in the forest the self-care system of the ─ Dawu tribe

Published: 2024-06-16 Author: mysheen
Last Updated: 2024/06/16, 06 the friendly cycle in the forest the self-care system of the ─ Dawu tribe


(by Phil Newell) / Ke Yazhi (project researcher, Rural Development Foundation, a consortium)

Under the influence of climate change, rainfall patterns tend to be short-time but high-intensity patterns, located on riverbanks, coastal areas, or low-lying settlements, and the most important thing to guard against is flooding; settlements located on hillsides may face the threat of debris flows, or even torrential rains damage living infrastructure such as electricity, water conservancy, transportation, communications, and so on. How should the residents of the mountain village adjust to find the way of community development in the extreme climate?

The Dawu tribe in Wutai Township, Pingtung County, is located on a mountain more than 1,000 meters above sea level, more than an hour's drive from the downtown area of Pingtung. It still needs to pass through a winding mountain road and cross the Ailiao North Creek to get there. At ordinary times, as long as it is washed away by torrential rain, the road of external communication may be damaged and impassable, and the tribe has fallen into a crisis of running out of food because of the destruction of the road, which can only be survived by emergency airdrop supplies from the air crew. The Dawu tribe was even more devastated by the Morakot disaster in 1998, but the tribe was determined to return home and rebuild the settlement, industry, and the relationship between man and nature.

Panoramic picture of Dawu tribe (photo source: forestry Bureau of Agriculture Committee of Executive Yuan) 21 kinds of millet catalysis industry sprouts and culture is deep-rooted.

The first step in industrial reconstruction begins with the restoration of millet. Xiaomi plays an indispensable role in the culture of the Rukai nationality. For all kinds of important ceremonies and festivals, the people will make millet cakes "Abai" to distribute to relatives and friends to express congratulations. When millet is dried, it will also be used to make a variety of traditional headwear, representing different identities and ranks. The tribe began to grow millet again, which can be eaten or sold. Its significance is not only to stabilize the most basic sources of food supply and livelihood, but also to take root and pass on the culture.

The Dawu tribe already has 21 varieties of millet, some suitable for millet wine and "Abai", some suitable for cooking Millet Congee, and more importantly, millet varieties that can grow well under years of environmental change. it is the "life-saving seed" of the tribe in extreme weather. Many abandoned farmland have been revitalized one after another in the restoration operation, the tribal terraces have come back to life, and the slope safety has been protected under everyone's maintenance.