Synopsis of the film
The Introduction is a newly created song for the kids to sing on the Bunun Buluo stage. The music was composed by Daganau, from the Paiwan and Rukai ethnic groups, and illustrates a variety of cultural influences. It is intended to be song by the younger generation, capturing the spirit of today’s young indigenous people and inspiring them to come together in harmony. The lyrics is Chinese and includes: “Come everyone sing… Join us to sing… May this never change… Black and white come together – no matter where you’re from – Taidong, Kaosiung… Think globally and act locally…”
Macilumaha. A newly created piece for the Bunun Buluo show. The very beginning of the song may be rooted in the Bunun tradition to call ahead to the village when returning from the hunt or from time away. In such case, the voice should be that of a familiar member of the village and signal that there is no reason for alarm.
Pasibutbut. Often called the "Harvest Prayer Song," it expresses hope for the millet to grow and provide a bountiful harvest. It features an 8-tone harmony in the chromatic style unique in the entire world. Good harmony is important for a good harvest. Today this song has evolved to represent good harmony for good luck. Gathered in a circle and holding hands, the group’s movement is counter-clockwise. According to one version of Bunun oral history, a long time ago a hunter went to the mountains and after hearing the sound of honey bees, he brought this sound home to his family group or clan.
Pisilaiya. Traditional hunting song. The music features the shaking of the reeds and is usually sung before the hunt. The music is used to worship the animal's spirits and calls them to come. The lyrics include… "May the cooked meat come to our basket…" and the performer calls the name of animals, such as goat, bear, deer, and flying squirrel.
Malastabang. Traditional Bunun announcement song or the “Report of events”. This ritual was originally used to announce the triumph or details of headhunting, as if a forum for bragging rights. During the Japanese period, when headhunting was outlawed, the significance changed to focus only on the events of hunting animals, such as how, when, where, or how many animals were killed. During the Kuomintang period, hunting was outlawed and the song fell into decline. Today, the Bunun are allowed to return to various mountain areas, and the ritual has evolved to report the events of exploring ancestral villages and tribal mapping.
Featured in this video, a young man announces which village he has actually returned to in recent years. Before drinking from the gourd, three drops of millet wine are sprinkled as an offering to heaven, earth, and spirit. The report is traditionally done by men, and when announcements or actions are favorable, his wife will enter the circle and dance to show her support.
Malastabang is also a method of identification when clans came together, revealing who you are, where you’re from, and serves as an indication of eligibility for marriage. For example, the performer states: “Taki-Luvun” meaning his mother’s clan came from "Luvun".