The ancestors of Taiwan once collected bark of plants such as paper mulberry and Red Fruit Fig Tree from the forest, which is then processed using ancient hammering methods to soften its texture to be further made into non-woven fabric. Finally, the cloth is woven into daily clothing such as tops, skirts, working trousers, or hats, sometimes even replacing animal skin and made into hunting outfits.
Bark cloth used the be the primary material used by Taiwan indigenous people, Austronesian peoples, and people living in regions near the equator to create clothing worn in everyday life and during religious ceremonies. We have revived this ancient craft and hope to rediscover the natural aesthetic and creativity within the rustic quality.
Paterongan, located at Hualien, the eastern shore of Taiwan, is renowned for its banana fiber weave. The ancient banana fiber weave is a Kavalan legacy. Today, workshops and female weavers of the tribe continue to explore the rustic style and exquisite craftsmanship of banana weave.
Throughout the workshop, tribal members demonstrate the weaving methods of banana fiber using traditional weaving machines, as well as the method of obtaining fiber from banana trees, and traditional techniques in drying the material in the sun, separating, connecting, and bundling. The PateRongan workshop will then guide participants in using creative methods to weave the banana fiber and play with the different possibilities of mixed materials. Banana fiber has a soft texture and layers of plain subtle colors, which will undoubtedly attract weave lovers to explore the various potentials of the material.
The color juice collected from branches, leaves, seeds, and tuber of plants have long been used by our ancestors to create vibrant colors on fabrics and clothing. However, the convenience of industrialization has led to mass production, replacing the rich colors of plant dye with modern industry.
With environmental awareness, many people are re-inspecting the definition of an ideal life. More and more people are returning to nature and engaging in handmade craft, leading to the revival of plant dye. Extracted from plants, plant dyes are rich in micronutrients, giving it a unique tone and texture. In addition, the aroma of the plant dye that emits during the boiling process is also extremely therapeutic.
Bamboo rattan is an essential aspect of the traditional craft of indigenous culture, especially among the Kavalan and Amis tribes, which are located in the low-altitude regions in Taiwan. Bamboo rattan involves the ancient wisdom of collecting and processing materials from the forest and is a form of superb craftsmanship that is used widely, from making daily utensils such as baskets to building houses.
By passing down the legacy and techniques of Kavalan bamboo rattan, we hope to share the wisdom and creative experience of bamboo rattan to anyone who is interested. Apart from learning the traditional processing techniques of bamboo rattan, participants will also gain further understanding towards the application and culture of indigenous bamboo rattan, passing down the legacy of the ancient craft.
Invigorate olfactory memory through shell-ginger and achieve tranquility through rhythmic repetition. The smooth and glossy shell-ginger pieces distribute an aroma as we weave them using our hands. Woven in layers, the material is either made into a seating mat or a three-dimensional object such as a basket that not only displays novel structure and design but also adds a rustic elegance to everyday living spaces.
Connecting our everyday lives with the spirit of craftsmanship of Taiwan, we add the quality of nature into living spaces. The food containers, seating mat used for enjoying quality tea, and lightweight side-backpacks for traveling, are all handmade. Experience nature amid everyday dining experiences and relaxing moments during travels by connecting with the ancient wisdom of craftsmanship of our ancestors that are calling to you from the fragrant fields.
PateRongan © 2021