Sunday, November 22, 2009

Zhou Guang-hui's Collection

Zhou Guang-hui (周廣煇), a local Amis chieftain, school teacher and member of Hualien County Council, spent his retirement accumulating farming tools and household utensils, hunting paraphernalia and models of his tribe's traditional thatched huts which he'd made with his own hands. In addition to animal skulls, traps and catapults, there are gowns and a foot-powered rice thresher still in working order. Unfortunately, nothing is labelled in English and since Zhou's death the collection has opened to the public only sporadically. However, if you ask around in the village of Dabalong (太巴塱) near Guangfu, no doubt a friendly local will lead you to it and likely track down whoever is holding the keys.

Perhaps the most precious item inside is the multi-generation family tree that Zhou compiled. The names of many of Zhou's ancestors are written in romanized script only; the more recent members of his clan are listed with both their Amis and Han names (the latter in Chinese characters). I regret not taking a photo of it...

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