NCKU Archaeology Institute faculty and students participate in the reconstruction of traditional Rukai indigenous slate houses.-國立成功大學永續發展SDGs

NCKU Archaeology Institute faculty and students participate in the reconstruction of traditional Rukai indigenous slate houses.

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NCKU Archaeology Institute faculty and students participate in the reconstruction of traditional Rukai indigenous slate houses.

Synergy Correlation

Field surveys of historical sites often unveil many things that are not documented in books! Following the winter expedition in 2022, where Professor Sasala Taiban from the Archaeology Institute of National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) led students to survey the historical relics of the Rukai Kucapungane settlement in Wutai Township, Pingtung County, they returned in the spring of 2023. The purpose of this trip was to understand how indigenous people rebuild traditional slate houses. Not only did students capture and document the reconstruction process, but they also participated in less hazardous and fundamental groundwork, contributing to a deeper understanding and appreciation of Austronesian culture and heritage preservation.

The Kucapungane slate house settlement is a second-class historical site in Taiwan. In 2016, it was listed in the World Monuments Watch program by the World Monuments Fund (WMF), making it Taiwan's second world-class cultural asset and the only indigenous settlement on the list. After graduating from elementary school in 1977, Professor Sasala Taiban witnessed the abandonment and dilapidation of the settlement houses upon his tribe's relocation from Kucapungane. In 2021, he applied to the Cultural Heritage Bureau of the Ministry of Culture for house repairs, which were approved in 2023. Earlier this year, Professor Sasala Taiban entrusted Yi-Xiong Du, nicknamed "Little Hunter," an experienced tribesman in house repairs, to lead a team of tribal members from Haocai, Ali, Shenshan, and other nearby tribes to commence house restoration.

Traditional Rukai houses consist of "wooden beams" and "masonry walls." Crafting wooden beams involves various processes such as tree felling, bark removal, wood planing, and drying before they can serve as house beams. The team selected trees from surrounding areas for beams, tasks requiring expertise and posing certain dangers. Meanwhile, students observed and documented operations like sawing wood and removing bark.

Another crucial aspect of house restoration is masonry work, in which students participated in foundational tasks. Slate, a vital construction material, was salvaged from the roofs of earlier houses. Despite the collapse of many due to decaying wooden beams, most slates remained intact. Under the team's guidance, students neatly arranged the fallen slates according to size and weight, revealing Professor Sasala Taiban's bedroom floor after decades of obscurity.

During the groundwork clearing process, remnants of Professor Sasala Taiban's family's early life emerged, including medicine bottles and aluminum cans used by his mother during her tenure as a health worker and midwife. Additionally, "Little Hunter" Yi-Xiong Du recognized rubber shoes worn by elementary school students at that time. As the team worked on house rebuilding, long-held memory boxes in everyone's hearts were opened, fostering reminiscences of tribal life and childhood fears.

Over the past two years, the NCKU Archaeology Institute has embarked on two expeditions to survey the historical relics of the Rukai Kucapungane settlement in Wutai Township, Pingtung County, yielding abundant results each time. Faculty and students are already planning a third visit to further their archaeological research at Kucapungane.
 

The archaeology institute students and faculty engaged in the reconstruction of indigenous houses

They observed the process of sourcing materials for house beams, sawing wood, removing bark, and planing wood

Dilapidated tribal houses

Students documented and organized the items found during the house reconstruction process.

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國立成功大學SDGs離岸團隊擁有全球風能維護團隊5年的全球風控中心,並擁有5年的第一套商業套化輪播式光達設備;除建立捲簾式的移動監控技術,與ECN展示現歐洲海事外展能力。建築複合功能設計團隊與建築外置經驗塔在介紹節能建築的同時,驗證建站技術也在技術中心及平台上進行技術測試,分享階段平台成果試驗成果未來生結合應用的架構,以作為開發系統的架構。