Opening Ceremony

2019 WINHEC AGM will be blessed by our local Indigenous elder on July 29th during the opening ceremony.

Timetable Content of Activity Location
09:00-09:15 Militemoh(Welcoming)

The guests will carry the sliced hog and beetle nuts, moving towards the East Gate of Cikasuan which is built up of thorny bamboos. The young guards of East Gate will fire the gun and ask what they come for. After the confirmation, the young guards will take the gifts over. Delegates of head age-set will introduce the guests and delegates of WINHEC to the elders.

The parking lot in front of College of Indigenous Studies
09:15-09:25 Mifetik(Ceremony of praying for blessings)

After all the gifts and offerings are settled down, members from the community will face the east and begin the ceremony of praying for blessings. They will also pray for the consortium, welcome family members and friends coming from far away, and pray for them for peace.

Outside of International Conference Hall
09:25-09:35 Miasik(Purification Ceremony)

In order to maintain the peace and ensure that all the activities go smoothly, the Purification Ceremony which will be led by the sikawasay from Lidaw community is going to purify the venue for and the spirits of the participants of WINHEC.

International Conference Hall
09:35-09:50 Papero(Speech)

The headman and the elder of the community will stand out as the representatives of this land and deliver the Papero.

International Conference Hall
09:50-10:00 Dance Troupe, College of Indigenous Studies, NDHU International Conference Hall
10:00-10:20 opening remarks

Ministry of Education or/and Representatives from Council of Indigenous Peoples

Representatives from National Dong Hwa University

Representatives from Local Teams

Co-chairs of WINHEC

International Conference Hall
10:20-10:45 Coffee Break Room A137
10:45- AGM Meeting International Conference Hall

1Origin of the name Cikasuan

Living in Hualien, people are familiar with the names such as Jhih Ka Syan, Qi Ka Shu An, Ji Ka Shu An, and Qi Jiao Chuan. These names all derive from the community of Pangcah people—Cikasuan. This word comes from the word si-kasuy-ay in Pangcah language which means “lots of firewood (kasuy).” Cikasuan community was first documented as Chicasuan in Spanish archive in 1630. When the Dutch came to Hualien for gold-mining, the name of the community appeared as Sicosuan in their documents. The naming of the community has been existing for more than four hundred years. However, not until a document during the implementation of the policy of pacifying indigenous people in 1875 had the record of Cikasuan, did the name officially be adopted to the community.

2Thorny bamboo and the East Gate

The outer side of Cikasuan was surrounded by the forest of thorny bamboos which were to protect the community. Relied on the oral history from the elders, we know that every time when the new members were going to inherit the age-set, they would grow thorny bamboos on the periphery of the community. Therefore, people would get the historical facts of Cikasuan’s existence by identifying the thickness of bamboo forest.

The Cikasuan community had been protected by the periphery made of bamboo forest. There were four gates which respectively faced the east, west, north, and south on the periphery.

Among these four gates, the main gate which acted as the port of community connecting to the outside world was the East Gate. There were houses which were used to host the guests, guards who were composed of people of different age sets, and excellent defensive construction near the East Gate. Everyone from the headman and elders to people from other communities who wanted to go into the community had to pass the East Gate under the escort of people of different age sets. If outsiders came for business, they must wait before the East Gate for the security check. This procedure was to make sure that nothing contagious came along with the invasion, protecting the community from being attacked.

3Beetle nuts and hogs (They are both gifts and offerings. They are placed east to pray to Malataw for activity’s smoothness.)

Beetle nuts as welcoming and inviting gifts stand for the good relationship between two different communities. Because when people eat the beetle nuts at the same moment, the friendship begins. And that’s also the action proved by the ancestral spirits. Because of the rarity of meat in the community, guests who bring hogs with them into the community would be sincerely hosted by the Cikasuan people. It’s also a gesture for any form of trade or communication to go smoothly.

Miasik(Purification Ceremony)

Before all the participants enter the International Conference Hall, the silver grass being placed which creates a barrier to avoid being disturbed by evil spirits can be seen on both sides of the way leading to the Hall.

Sikawasay suggests that miasik should start before everything and after all the participants are seated.

Before miasik begins, Sikawasay will be waiting in the resting room next to International Conference Hall. No until miasik begins will Sikawasay enters the Hall. Offerings are placed in the most front table by Sikawasay and are forbidden to be touched for fear that they would be contaminated. For fear that the ceremony would be interrupted, a short introduction is recommended before miasik starts.

The process of miasik includes: Summoning the spirits of deceased, consoling the spirits of the deceased, bathing the spirits of the deceased, cleanse, and finally, purification.

Summoning the spirits of deceased: Summoning all the spirits who have been protecting the community to show up.

Consoling the spirits of the deceased: Commemorating the spirits of deceased elders of WINHEC, praying for the blessings of this consortium and participants, and making an announcement of speaking only kind words throughout the consortium.

Bathing the spirits of the deceased: Creating the bond between local spirits, participants’ spirits, and guarding spirits and calling for the health and strength for always residing within the participants’ bodies and minds.

Cleanse: Cleansing the unpleasant spirits dwelling in the venue.

Purification: Being the final step of miasik, Sikawasay will clean away the unpleasant spirits and illness occupying on the important participants’ bodies. If any participant has special decease or disability and wants to receive miasik in a private place, a return treat is necessary.

4The speech of the headman of the community

Today, we Cikasuan people stand on the land and claim to be the owners of this land. Before the Japanese forced us to leave our land, our territory covered the riverbeds and wilderness around National Dong Hwa University.

Nevertheless, as the political power changes overtime, Cikasuan people never have the chance to go back to where our ancestors were buried and settle down.

Because the land had never been occupied by our people since the Japanese regime built their immigrants a village called Yoshino. However, why didn’t the government return our land to us after the exit of Japanese regime?

Now, Cikasuan people scatter around Shoufeng and Ji’an Township. But we still believe that, under the name of justice, our land will return to us and we will eventually go back to where our ancestors live. Thanks for hosting this consortium for inviting us to have a speech like this under the name of “Owners of the Land.” May the consortium have a successful ending and wish every of you good health and joy throughout the life.