CyberFair Project ID: 3679

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Call of the Mountains
Category: 8. Local Music and Art Forms

School: Ma Yuan Elementary School
    Hualien, Taiwan, Taiwan

19 students, ages 11~12 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 1, 2005. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2004

Classes and Teachers: Mr. Jason Lui , Mr. Jing-da Ma.

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Hualien was a place where aboriginals used to live. Now the aboriginal population accounts for one quarter of its total population. There is a Bunun school in Wanrong Township, Hualien County and Mayuan Village is the only Bunun community in Wanrong Township. We belong to Bunun takevatan community. Although there are no more than one hundred families, we still brave the modern society by the strength of traditional Bunun spirits. Culture is life, is the accumulation of living wisdom. The importance of traditional culture can be proved by the fact that any ethnic group would not survive or prosper without rich ethnical culture. We recognize that traditional culture should assimilate new things for its survival and development. To our dismay, we find that Taiwanese aboriginal cultures are often neglected and distorted, and the aboriginals are marginalized and suffer from the lack of confidence in face of foreign factors. A destroyed living style would send the aboriginal culture to sealed doom. Taiwanese society is a culturally diversified society. We hope that this theme research would help us to find what we have lost, inherit the precious treasures left by our ancestors and pass them on to our next generation.

2. Summary of Our Project

Bunun people prefer songs to music instruments. Songs are collective creations and indispensable factor in Bunun people’s traditional lives. With its unique music style and form, Bunun songs have won undisputable fame among various Taiwanese aboriginals. Without grand dancing steps or the company of various instruments, Bunun music is famous among Taiwanese aboriginals for its unique and very primitive instrument --- mouth. Bunun people’s piety to the god is expressed by their harmonious voices. Our Bunun community was immigrated from take vatan, Nantou County to Mayuan in 1934. Though it was a hard journey, our world-famous singing skill --- synaeresis revived its vigor with the efforts of Priest Yan and Qiu-mei Jian. We sing psalm in eight-part harmony in our weekly party and go to other places to perform. In the future, we will learn to sing and appreciate the eight-part harmony, listen to Bunun legends and understand the implications of our traditional clothes as well as the snake totem. The sense of accomplishment and recognition would make us very proud. It can be taken as a magnificent cultural inheritance and experience. The beautiful songs are still echoing in the valley. Every time we hear it, we would like to do something for the tribe. we sincere hope that “the Call of the Mountains” could be our humble repayment.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:none

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:4-6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

The computer room in our school has 17 computers and complete equipment, among which five can be linked to the internet. Our school’s LAN is connected with Hualien County Computer Center via ADSL cable, and in turn, linked to Taiwan Academic Network. Apart from the computer room, computers in faculty offices can also be hooked on the internet. All the data collecting, editing and adjusting work for the website construction were done in the computer room. Since our families did not have computer, we did the work in computer room after class and in holidays.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

(1)The lack of computer skills: As we have never made any website, let alone theme research, the teachers prepared us for the coming hardship at the very beginning. What the teachers told us was very helpful in filling out progress chart, applying for E-mail box, searching on internet, downloading and website construction. (2)The lack of materials: As we all live in Mayuan Village, we could approach elders for important information. We also found a lot of materials and photos from the school library, Hualien County Cultural Center, internet and the teaching materials on folk traditions of other schools. (3)A total of 19 students from the fifth grade participated in this activity. Big brothers and sisters from Hualien Teachers College Persian Cat Club came to help the teachers in instructing and guiding our work. They taught us how to use e-mails and computer software, how to conduct interviews, and directed us on website construction. We all took great pleasure in it.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

(1) Everything starts from the first step. Anything should be done step by step. We worked together with Mr. Lu and Director Ma tirelessly. Now we really get the sense of a saying: no pain, no gain. (2) Team spirit and proper work assignment made each step of the activity went smoothly. In this team everyone is equal and any negligence would affect the overall performance of the team. (3) In this process, we learned many computer skills and were able to use digital products, such a DV and DC.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

In carrying out this plan, we integrated such courses as arts, natural science, and history in the process. We think that what we have learned from this theme research report is very helpful for us in recognizing our cultural identity, cultural values and computer application. We have collected many materials about Bunun music and its traditional musical instruments and tried to express their cultural implications by images. Though our work is not of high quality, we have made a successful step toward inheriting and extending our Bunun culture. In terms of computer application, we have learned a lot about web page making and know how to process images. We feel that all we have spent on it is quite worthwhile.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

1.Oral interviews:Visit local figures to collect materials about local music and art. 2.Internet:Search for relevant websites and communicate with friends on the internet. 3.DC, DV, and Video Capture Card:Record our visits and turn the interviewing record into VCD. 4.Scanner and printer:Scanner was used to process images. Printer was used to print reading materials. 5.Telephone, fax:To communicate with interviewees by telephone and fax. 6.DVD-RW:Save relevant data and transfer them to computers wireless-connected to the internet. 7.Computer software:NAMO, PhotoImpact, Cuteftp, Office........

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

Before we went for our visits, the teachers would gather and instruct us on interviewing techniques and outlines. Our interviewees were great people. We recorded their answers after raising the questions. We also took photos in the interviews. At first we felt a bit nervous. However, our interviewees were quite patient. We just want to thank them again! After the interviews, we presented a small gift to express own sincere gratitude. Our interviewees were picked from a broad range, including teachers, parents, neighbors, and local figures, elders as well as organizations. The materials provided by Mayuan Church has greatly enriched this website.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

(1) Students’ parents care a lot about the school education, so they are concerned with the professional capability and teaching quality of the teachers. The reason for making this special research is to make them understand the progress that the teachers are making, their intended plans and the effects of their training. We also hope that the students would comprehend the effects of the teachers’ training by comparing the past and the present. It is expected that people would come to know our school better by visiting our website. (2) This special research is totally based upon the interviews with local teachers and students. So we visited different tribes tirelessly. This also helps us to understand in an all-round way the significance of school education. Apart from this, we greatly expanded our circle to people from other counties. Those classmates and our parents often came to encourage us and visited our website.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

We would like to express our gratitude to: 1.Ms. Chiu-mei Chang, the schoolmaster of Yuan Elementary School, who gave us unfailing support and assistance. 2.Hope Agent Development Association for their selfless support. 3.Mr. Fu-hui Lin, Director Jin-da Ma, whose social connections help us saving precious time. 4.All warm-hearted people in Mayuan Village: Mr. Yung-fu Tu, Mr. Wan-cheng Tu, Ms. Ying-hua Li, Mr. Lian-dan Ma, Ms. Bao-si Jiang, Mr. Shin-hua Lin and others who helped us. 5.Hualien Teachers College Persian Cat Club, thank you for guide us all the way. Our special thanks is devoted to Hope Agent Development Association, with which our website would be impossible. Their in-time support helped us overcoming many obstacles. This time it sponsored a laser printer and a set of webpage making software. Jhun-che Li and other 18 older brothers and sisters from Hualien Teachers College Persian Cat Club took time from their precious weekend to instruct us on page making. We would like to express our appreciation to them once again.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

(1) We had a bumper harvest by participating in 2005 Taiwan Schools Cyberfair. Our research process was full of discoveries and surprises. What we have learned include: ? Discoveries: we came to know the migration of our Bunun take vatan, the folk musical treasures. These discoveries made us proud of being a part of the excellent culture. ?. Lessons: an old Chinese saying goes like this: three dull people is sharper than one wise guy. Our team had eight people and we had to clearly divide our work in light of each one’s strengths and weaknesses. Any quarrel other than calm discussion would only ruin any achievement. So the lesson we have learned from this activity is that: unity is strength. ? Surprises: Computer is such a magic thing! We used to play games and chat on computer. But the role it played in this research has greatly widened our mind. (2) This research has given us a deep impression. We improved our computer skills and data collecting ability, exercised our skills in interviewing people, even well-known figures, etc. we would always cherish this memory throughout our lives.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 3679)

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