On the huge lawn, various craftsmen were working hard, weaving traditional back baskets, carving traditional tableware from wood, imitating early stone axes, combing straw to prepare for the construction of the roof... This is the We are Mumu studio located in the Puyuma Nanwang tribe. Mumu means grandparents and elders in the Puyuma language. We hope that by inheriting the spirit of Mumu, these treasures of wisdom that have been passed down through the ages will hand down to generations.
Before Mumu's studio, Yiting came to the tribe to carry out Mumu's heirloom art project. She took pictures and recorded with Mumu's eyes, and saw the tribe's appearance in Mumu's eyes, and through constant communication, she also gradually integrated into Mumu's life. She learned to know the traditional craft culture knowledge of the tribe, and got to know local partners Xiuru, Lamulu and Aqiang who are interested in the preservation of traditional culture. The Mumu studio was established in 2009, hoping that through the wisdom of Mumu, not only the handicrafts but also the culture will continue.
In the early days, I had the opportunity to get acquainted with Professor Yosuke Kaibe, an authority on ancient history from the National Science Museum of Japan. In recent years, he has been conducting a series of studies on human migration footprints 30,000 years ago. The study pointed to a lot of evidence that some Japanese ancestors came from Taiwan. To confirm this possibility, the professor collaborated with the National Taiwan Museum of Prehistoric Culture to try to recreate the most primitive canoes of human navigation 30,000 years ago. Xiuru, who majored in Japanese, served as a translator for Professor Yosuke Kaibe at that time, and Mumu Studio participated in solving the problems that would be faced in traditional construction methods, learning with the elderly, and building a boat together. They build boats in the most traditional way, go up the mountain to collect and process yellow vines. They learn how to organize and deform, continue to be curious and research, and admire the wisdom of ancestors. Just like this... Everyone plunged into the field of natural materials, learned from the elders, took mountains and forests as teachers, wood as teachers, bamboo and rattan as teachers, and began to create crafts with natural materials.
Next, Mumu Studio also participated in the research and reproduction of the Beinan cultural relics collected by the Prehistoric Museum. Begin to have a lot of contact with the artifacts and cultural relics of the Puyuma tribe, and return to their own tribe (Puyuma Nanwang tribe) to collect cultural relics.
However, when I returned to the tribe, the biggest setback was the feeling of being out of time to learn from the elders. When learning the traditional back basket, I picked up weaving again, and learned the techniques taught by Grandpa and the spirit of the mountains and forests. When the elders passed away, we can only study and learn in the process of copying by observing the cultural relics left by Grandpa. If you don't ask, you will never have the chance. From this moment, the Mumu Studio has become more stable and determined the starting point of returning to nature and traditional craftsmanship.
"When we were young, we could throw a stone when we got it. When we saw a stone break, it was a weapon. After returning to Taitung, we re-understood our own culture, and reconnected with the memories of our childhood, and reconnected ourselves." Aqiang devoted himself to the tribe, traditional skills and self-knowledge are accumulated bit by bit through childhood memories.
走在卑南遺址公園、南王國小內，可見傳統的卑南家屋建築，姆姆傳家寶工作室也參與在其中與部落長輩一同修繕與維護。除了傳統建築外，亦將這些工法重新融合與創新，以自然素材進行佈展創作，盡量不使用塑膠製品，以採集自然素材製作為主。除了參與史前館的佈展搭建生活場景之外，近幾年更參與了Taiwan PASIWALI Festival 原住民族國際音樂節，搭建世界部落屋，將傳統工藝融入在我們現代的生活中。
Walking in the Beinan Heritage Park and the Nanwang Elementary School, you can see the traditional Beinan house buildings. The Mumu Studio also participated in the repair and maintenance with the tribe elders. In addition to traditional architecture, these construction methods are also re-integrated and re-innovated. The exhibition is created with natural materials, reducing the use of plastic products, and to collect natural materials for production. In addition to participating in the exhibition and construction of the Prehistoric Museum, the studio has also participated in the Taiwan PASIWALI Festival Aboriginal International Music Festival in recent years, building world tribal houses in various venues, and integrating traditional crafts into our modern life.
"We are constantly studying these materials, and constantly using the techniques taught by the elderly. As you can see, this is the wall in the house in the past. We are using it a lot now, and we have also improved the house to become that can take away." Chong Wei said that he has been trying in recent years, improving from learning traditions, and still showing traditional techniques in innovation.
The Mumu Studio will also bring the younger generation in the tribe to participate in various productions. It is hoped that through the participation in person and the memory of the hand-made, it will gradually germinate in the hearts of the children, so that this heirloom from Mumu can last forever.
"Things made of natural materials may be broken, not like plastic, steel, and cement. But if they are broken, we can repair and remake them, and these skills will not disappear because of continuous use."
文/吳紀昀 By chi yun wu