About the wedding
The Austronesian Wedding is an activity held by the Maolin National Scenic Area Headquarters featuring the region’s indigenous cultures. It follows the wedding traditions of Paiwan and Rukai tribal leaders in the three townships of Pingbei, Majia, Sandimen and Wutai.
A wedding is a crucial event for any Rukai people. On a personal level, it is an influential experience in life. Through wedding, a person’s status in a tribe is enhanced. Besides, marriage not only brings two people together, but also establishes ties between nuclear and extended families within a tribe. It can even help form alliances between two different tribes. Even social and moral rules may be formed through weddings.
Rukai tribes are operated under distinct social hierarchies. This is especially salient when it comes to weddings. For instance, an aristocrat wedding must show the status and honor the two families involved, sometimes even tribes. Therefore, attending the wedding of a Rukai tribal chief (“dalialaLai”) is like joining a grand networking event for different families and/or tribes.
Aristocrat weddings are very complicated and norms and rules must be followed. In brief, the procedure is as follows:
|1||Visit(lrikapa)||The groom's first visit to the bride's home.|
|2||Propose marriage(kidrekase)||The groom's spokesperson (also known as matchmaker) goes to the bride's home to propose marriage. The more relatives and friends of the groom who visit, the more popular and sincere they are considered. It is important that the elders of both the prospective bride and groom participate in the wedding discussion.|
|3||Check dowry(sabadhane)||The groom's side discusses and completes the dowry giving ritual as agreed in the marriage proposal and checks whether there are any omissions. If there are no mistakes, the dowry giving ceremony is completed. The ritual ceremony also showcases the honor and glory of the bride's family.|
|4||Wedding ceremony(karudrange)||Complete the dowry giving ritual and check there are no omissions. If there are no mistakes, the dowry giving ceremony is completed, and the ritual ceremony also showcases the dignity and glory of the bride's family. After the above etiquette and customs are confirmed by the tribal etiquette committee, the Rukai wedding ceremony is completed.|
In addition to the clear social class system, the Paiwan people are mainly based on the inheritance of the eldest heir, and only after completing the marriage can they be included in the family order and officially become the "adult" of the tribe, which means that after the wedding ceremony to become a "home" and be recognized by the tribal society, only then can they be allocated family property and living resources, and only then can they have autonomy in farming and harvesting.
According to the oral accounts of the elders, in traditional tribal societies, if a man is of marriageable age but is unmarried, he will perform village patrol duties every dusk and wait until he gets married, and only when he gets married can he live with his spouse in his own home and enjoy a warm family life.
The traditional mamazangilan wedding ceremony of the Paiwan tribe is very cumbersome and rigorous, and the ceremony is still preserved and used by the tribe in the 21st century.
|1||Visit(kivala)||The groom's first visit to the bride's home.|
|2||Discuss the wedding(mazepzep)||The elders of both the groom and bride discuss the form and content of the traditional wedding and dowry.|
|3||Propose marriage(temuljinga)||Finalize the content of the dowry and marriage ceremony as agreed in the marriage proposal.|
|4||Vertical swing ceremony(palizuk)||A symbol of the bride's status and class at the wedding.|
|5||Check dowry(paukuz)||The groom's side discusses and completes the dowry giving ritual as agreed in the marriage proposal and checks to ensure there are no omissions. If there are no mistakes, the dowry giving ceremony is completed and the ritual ceremony highlights the honor and glory of the bride's family.|
|6||Wedding ceremony(pucekelj)||After the above etiquette and customs are confirmed by the tribal etiquette committee, the ritual dance around a circle begins, indicating that the honorable and glorious content of the Paiwan wedding is completed marking the end of the wedding ceremony.|
The Austronesian wedding activity drives the couple's lifelong love and weaves an infinite happy future together in the past 16years. Continuing to be full of blessings and touches, 2023 Austronesian Wedding will be launched in Sandimen Township, Pingtung County, where the elders will witness the vows of each couple through the traditional wedding ceremony of the Paiwan ethnic group, and complete the most important decision under the sacred Dawu Mountain.