The Saisiyat Pasta'ai
The Pasta'ai, arranged in Nanzhuang Township of Miaoli County and Wufeng Township of Hsinchu County around October 15th of the Lunar Calendar, is a historical event filled with love and hatred. A long time ago, the Saisiyat people and the Ta’ai people (also known as dwarf people) lived next to each other. The Ta’ai people passed on skills and knowledge of agriculture and rituals to the Saisiyat people, which enabled years of harvest for the Saisiyat people. Therefore, the Saisiyat people viewed the Ta’ai people as their benefactor. However, the Ta’ai people molested Saisiyat girls during the harvest festival, and the Saisiyat people came up with a plan to lure Ta’ai people into the river, which almost killed the entire tribe. From then on, the Saisiyat people went through years of poor harvest and were attacked by disasters. Thence, the Saisiyat people changed the harvest festival into the Pasta'ai to pray for the forgiveness of the Ta’ai people so that they would no longer curse the Saisiyat tribe.
The Pasta'ai is mainly sorted into raraol, kisirinaolan, kisitomal, papatnawasak, and papaosa. Most events consist of song and dance. The first day of the event is led by the main worshiper, welcoming the Ta’ai spirits with song and dance in a solemn manner. The event turns joyful later, and finally, it ends with participants proceeding to the cave where the Ta’ai people lived to bid them farewell.
◎Precautions for participating in the Pasta'ai
- Before entering the venue, proceed to the front of the sacrifice house to fasten some Miscanthus (including camera and other items) to ensure safety.
- The festival includes ancestral worshiping, raraol, kisitomal, and papaosa. If you would like to join the dance, please change into traditional Saisiyat clothing for aesthetic and unity. Loud noises, drinking alcohol, and trouble-making are prohibited.
- Do not linger or interrupt the team during raraol and papaosa. If you are unwell (unclean) or pregnant, please avoid the team.
- Apart from the Ta’ai spirit ritual song, no other songs are allowed during the festival. Participants should not abuse or insult others, beat children, or harm animals. Out of respect for the culture and interaction between different cultures, we ask that all participants follow the guidelines.
- The front and east of the sacrifice house entrance are pathways for ta’ay; please do not linger or stand in these places. Please keep away and do not touch the decade sacrificial flag in the right front area of the sacrifice house.
- During the festival, visitors should follow instructions from police and security. Pay attention to the protection of the natural environment and surrounding facilities. Also, pay attention to personal safety and keep warm during the night time as the wind is rather cold.
- Please respect the Saisiyat Pasta'ai and do not take photographs without permission. If photography is required, please contact the organizer of the festival.
- The Pasta'ai is an event of repentance towards the Ta’ai spirits and a sacred festival. Visitors should pay attention to rules and taboos.
Xiangtian Lake is a lake within a mountain and the location of the Saisiyat tribe. Located at 738 meters above sea level, the lake is surrounded by trees and the surface of the water is often covered by steam. The scenery of the lake and mountain and tribal legends add charm to the site. The lake is also a perfect location for firefly sighting. Take a trip to Xiangtian Lake and take a walk along the lake to enjoy the beautiful view of the sky and mountains reflected in the water.
The architecture is designed with traditional Saisiyat weaving while the pillars are decorated with Saisiyat totems. The interior includes a collection space with irregular displays, tribal workshops, and various cultural exhibitions. This is a museum that combines a sense of leisure with intellectuality.
Fengmei River and Shenhsienku
Shenhsienku is located at the converge of Fengmei River and Bilin River, a tributary along the upstream of Dung-he River. The strong impact of water creates a gap of tens of meters in height within the rocks, creating a magnificent scenery of rushing water. The entrance of the trail is next to the 21-th Miao Line and takes only 5 minutes to arrive.