售價 : $250
 Siraya Boy

  Written by Lin Man-Chiu    Illustrated by Zhang You-Ran
  Translated by Michael Heckfield
  Publisher:Tainan County Government, Children's Publications Co., Ltd.
  Date of publicationDecember 2008
  ISBN978-986-6830-81-5    GPN:1009703787
  LanguageEnglish
  Sizehardback21.7*28.6cm35pages 
  PrizeNT$250


 
|Summary|

 
Once upon a time,
about three hundred years ago,
the Tainan region was a land of wild mountain forests,
and beautiful landscapes.

When the wind blew,
there appeared the white spots of the deer on the grasslands.
This was the paradise of the spotted deer
and also the Home village of the Siraya tribe.
 
  
|About Authors|  


Author 
Lin Man-Chiu

A person who likes walking, in Taiwan mountains,
English countryside and on American high trails.
Though living in England, her heart has never left Taiwan.
Only after too many years as an editor,
and with various awards,
she discovered her greatest love as an author.
 

Illustrator 
Zhang You-Ran

Born in 1968 in Taipei,
a lover of painting but equally of Nature.
Likes to travel the length and breadth of Taiwan
seeking beauty and emotion.
With his remarkably charming brushwork,
the beauty of the picture takes on an almost poetic quality,
calmly as though moonlight upon Mother Earth.
 
 
|Introductions|

 
Author’s introduction
 
The Siraya people have long since been ‘Sinicized’, and regarded with indifference, so that it is already very difficult to find out about their life and special characteristics. Fortunately, historians and concerned Siraya individuals have unceasingly sought out and traced some vague features. The main theme in creating this book is also to allow children to know more the forgotten heritage of the Siraya.

In order to avoid too many words of explanation taking away from the main idea of the picture-book, I have not introduced technical terms for the ceremonies. As concerns the use of words and images, I feel it rather more important to present the children with a ‘feeling’ for the people described. In order to develop the characteristics of the Siraya people, I deliberately set the background of the story in the Dutch period before the Han people had immigrated in great numbers; by showing the love of the spotted (sika) deer, I illustrate the native population’s natural instincts and attitude toward nature.

Before the Dutch invasion of Taiwan, the Siraya people already hunted to make a living, but they had developed a philosophy of balanced nature. For the most part, autumn and winter were their hunting season. In spring and summer, when female deer give birth and small deer cry out for food, even though they went out hunting, they didn’t shoot female deer and small ones. ‘Conservation’ and ‘respect for nature’ didn’t exist in their vocabulary in that era, yet they put into practice that concept. Precisely because of this, with the sika deer spreading widely throughout south, Taiwan enjoyed the name ‘Deer Island’.

After the entry of the Dutch and Han people on Taiwan island, the life-style of the Siraya people changed, so did the natural environment. In the past three hundred years, the Siraya people became immersed in the Taiwan racial characteristics. Now the name ‘Formosa’ for the ‘beautiful island’ has disappeared, yet it seems as though with the prosperity of the island, the most precious things have been lost. Now, as the Siraya people strive to recover their roots, should we not follow their ancestors, and copy their attitude of respect for Nature?
 
 
 
Illustrator’s introduction
 
On receiving the content of this ‘Siraya Boy’ book, I felt a paradox at heart. While I love the story that deals with the ways of the people, still, material on the image of the seventeenth-century Siraya is very hard to find and the difficulty of creating this book is considerable.

The treating of a long-extinct culture and the sika deer of the West Taiwan plains, this type of writing style attracted me. Extinct animals along with a lost tribal culture and its pre-existing structure are also interesting. I tried hard to gather materials and it was only after several trips to Tainan, that I decided to get my head down and take on this task.

The once lively life-style of the Siraya people on Taiwan’s southern plains, having gone through the encroaching influence of both the Westerners and the Han Chinese, their cultural features were already rather clouded. In order to build an image of the seventeenth-century Siraya, and give the reader a feeling for the atmosphere of that period, I used ancient seventeenth-century maritime maps and illustrations, as well as tropical-style images of the southern island. Because the historical material is rare, I could in no way define a strict time-period in the preparation of many images, but selectively put together the materials around one or two hundred years after the age of discovery. Even though selecting material was difficult, I still find it pleasant to visualize the deer running freely about on the southern plains and to have the Siraya people’s lost life appear convincingly.

In order further to understand some ceremonial rites, in October 2004 I went on a visit to the Dong-He village, Dong-Shan township near Tainan to get some experience of the Siraya night ceremonies. Hand in hand in circles, young women in white blouses and black skirts were treading slow steps and softly singing folk-songs. They seem to sing unfathomable grieving for their ancestors. At that moment I was also entranced, as though returning to a historical catastrophe.

In this trip to Dong-He village, I realize that the Siraya culture is not actually extinct, but that they had changed in appearance. In the process of illustrating the book, what I experienced was a gradual complex emotion, a modest hope to be able to reveal to the reader, who I hope will also be able to feel this. 
 
  
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