The Channel, Season 1, EP. 37 - discussion

The Ta-u and their Island Home with Syaman Lamuran and Syaman Rapongan

Here at IIAS, issue #98 of The Newsletter, our flagship publication, comes out next month, just in time for the ICAS 13 conference in Surabaya, Indonesia. This edition of The Newsletter is meant to engage in various ways with the conference theme, “Crossways of Knowledge.” The special Focus section of this issue presents a collection of articles by authors from the Indigenous Ta-u community of Lanyu Island off the coast of Taiwan. Echoing the theme of maritime connections so central to this iteration of ICAS 13, the authors of The Focus reflect on multiple dimensions of Ta-u life, including traditional practices like fishing and boat-building as well as contemporary challenges posed by tourism, migration, and ecological disruption. 

As a teaser for the Indigenous collection in the upcoming issue, we asked two authors – both members of the Ta-u community – to come on the podcast and give our audience a sense of the Ta-u language through its stories and poetry. In this episode, Syaman Lamuran gives a brief introduction before Syaman Rapongan, an elder of the community, offers two recitations: first, some ceremonial words spoken during the Summoning Flying Fish ritual; and second, a poem reflecting the importance of boats and fish to the Ta-u culture. Finally, Syaman Lamuran returns to reflect and translate these recitations into English. 

If you'd like to know more about traditional Ta-u culture and contemporary Ta-u lives, be sure to pick up issue #98 of The Newsletter. In addition to Syaman Lamuran and Syaman Rapongan, we'd also like to thank Annika Pissin, Huei-Min Tsai, and Eric Clark, who co-edited the upcoming Focus section in collaboration with members of the Ta-u community.