What surprised me was one of the photos which graced the hall of Mau's House : Tun Temenggong Jugah from Sarawa k with King Mau in a photo together. This photo was probably taken in the 1960's judging from the bush jacket he was wearing. At that time he was also the Minister for Sarawak Affairs an enviable position from world view and especially World Indigenous Peoples' platform. Another photo was that of Tun Mahathir. There were photos of other world leaders and prominent men and women too.
Thao Tribe of Taiwan...they recognised each other as "brothers".
I understand that what we got was one of the compulsory tour destinations a Taiwan Tour of the Sun Moon Lake area: the visit to the Mau's House in the Aboriginal Cultural Village of Taiwan.
In Mau's House you see a presentation/infomercial of two important products of this area : Royal Jelly and Deer Foetus Capsules. The former is for the eternal beauty of ladies and the latter for the eternal health for men. Both will set you back at least RM1000.00 Be warned.
Miri ladies in King Mau's house... This will not be on the Hall of Fame upstairs.....LOL.
Wooden figurines in King Mau's house.Fairly similar to those crafted in Sarawak.
Near the Sun Moon Lake is a Taiwan Aboriginal Cultural Village for tourists to spend time. And a special destination is this Mau's House.(Thao)
Local oven for sweet potatoes. There are many shops along here selling many different products. The traders are Plains people or Chinese descent people and Aboriginal Tribal People (or Original Natives)
Millet for wine making. Rice wine made by the Aboriginal Groups are sweet and strong. Very good quality with different labels. They can be as expensive as RM70. Very simply brewed ones are at RM6.00
A local Church in this cultural village. The doors are always open.
A popular souvenir...seed which looks like jaring.
|This is the Taiwan jaring...a giant one.... |
How Mao Sin-siao became King Mao - The New Leader of the Thao Tribe
Mao Sin-siao was a member of the Guard Regiment during the Japanese occupational era. In 1949, while visiting the Sun Moon Lake, President Chiang Kai-shek took a boat to Dehua Village to enjoy the Thao tribe's dancing and singing. In order to welcome the president, Mao Sin-siao led his tribes people to the wharf to sing and dance. Because Chiang was not well informed about the Thao tribe he called Mau Sin-siao "King Mao" and the name got stuck.
Later on, Mao Sin-siao organized the Sun Moon Lake Aboriginal Singing and Dancing Group. Then, in 1955, he established Mau's Garden which became a commercialised tourism product : you can take pictures with a "princess", and buy handicrafts. Subsequently the Peony Garden, the Shueishe Hall, the Chieftain's Great Garden, and the Aboriginal Culture Hall were also established. From then on, the fame of King Mau spread further. Tourists would often assume that King Mao was the chief (“Toumu”) of the tribe. However, the Thao tribe in Dehua Village does not have the titles of “Chief” or “King”. Their leaders are known as “Skatafatu” and “Sinawanan”.
Owing to his good relationship with the government officials, King Mao became the new leader of the Thao tribe. Throughout his entire life, he strove enthusiastically for the welfare of his tribespeople.
In the Heart of Taiwan we learned a great deal : the tour guide told us many stories and many legends of this area. We learned a lot of moral lessons from him.
It is good that different people have so much respect for each other and for each other's origin. It is sad that some people cannot even treat their neighbours and fellow travellers with a decent smile or a decent nod of recognition.
We also learned that even if we have money in our pockets we could not buy up everything as if there was no tomorrow. You do meet some nasty sourvenir shop owners who are choosy about their customers. We learn never to look if we have no intention of buying. You can get bad remarks (which you can understand in Hokkien which they think you don't understand) and that spoils the day. You can bargain in some shops but not in every shop. Buy what you like and don't buy with enthusiasm. Before you buy give that special look that you "have the money but you won't part with it" ...and always look carefully because not all products are good in quality.
Also you may have some people in your tour group who will snap up all the products before you can take out your wallet. They have what we call " fast money". But never mind that. Keep your money for your old age and coffee for friends when you are home in Miri. I know how frustrating it is not to be able to get that last packet of Taiwan sweets when the rich aunty took the last 20 packets for her relatives.
Do have a list of what you wish to buy or you will have excess luggage. Air Asia may promise every one can fly but not every item can fly....
And to some of my friends there will always be more Taiwan trips in the future. Be comforted.
I must stand firm and take only photos and bring home good memories and leave my foot prints in Taiwan. Even though I wanted to bring home every living plant I could lay my hands on I must remember I should not create an invasion of plant diseases in my own country....On Guide's honour I promise to keep my luggage at 15 kg for always.
We have plenty to learn.