According to legend, the Thao people discovered this beautiful wonderland while chasing a white deer. You are able to enjoy the pestle music of the Thao tribe echoing through this magnificent scenery.
According to a legend, a long time ago a group of Thao hunters chased a rare and beautiful white deer for days, going up river valleys and across mountain ridges. Finally they entered the mountains of a place called Shuishalian and settled the entire tribe in this beautiful place.
During the Qing Dynasty, the original Thao settlers were joined by large numbers of Han Chinese and Pingpu indigenous people. Thanks to Sun Moon Lake’s rich ecology, Thao people started to fish, hunt, and cultivate agricultural products in this beautiful place and also further developed fishing skills.
In spite of a deep assimilation with Han Chinese,Thao tribe still maintains its traditional culture. Their 'spirit basket', in which the articles of clothing belonging to the ancestors are kept and worshipped, still stands at the heart of Thao religious beliefs. All Thao religious rituals and ceremonies include prayers to the ancestors.
Pestle music is performed by a number of people wielding wooden pestles of varying lengths, involving the rhythmic pounding of pestles against stone slabs. Pestle music has been an important feature of Thao culture at Sun Moon Lake. The echoing pestle pounding and dancing have become the most well-known attraction at Sun Moon Lake.
Pasibutbut, eight-part polyphony, is the ancient Bunun tribe tradition of polyphonic choral singing. They sing pasibutbut with their unique eight – part harmony, and pray for a plentiful harvest of millet. It has also been called the " sound of nature".
Living on both sides of the Central Mountain Range, Bunun people were known to be one of the 'high-mountain tribes.' They have five distinct sub-tribes: the Takbunuaz, the Takituduh, the Takibaka, the Takivatan, and the lsbukun.The Takibaka tribe mainly lives in the Tannan Village in Sinyi while the Takibaka,Takbunuaz, Takivatan tribes mostly live in Dili and Shuanglong.
Bunun people's agricultural cultivation and hunting time have to be aligned with the lunar calendar. According to the Bunun tribe, the concept of months and years is divided by the growing period of the millet. Being the most important crop for the Bunun, there are also many millet-related events or rituals annually.There are pictographs on the calendar to symbolize different rituals, including 'lgbinagan','Malahodaigian',and 'Andagaan.' 'Pasibutbut' is the well-known 'eight-part harmony',sung by the Bunun people to pray for a plentiful harvest of millet. Bunun people believe that the better they sing, the more they can get from the harvest. Being another important ceremony in Bunun culture, the ear-shooting festival is held to teach boys marksmanship and hunting skills.
◎Please remain quiet while the ceremony is held to respect taboos and regulations of different tribes.