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Eight Bunun tribal youngsters complete 'root-finding' journey

Bunun tribal youngsters from Taitung Wulu Elementary School complete 'root finding' journey on the banks of Jiaming Lake yesterday.

Bunun tribal youngsters from Taitung Wulu Elementary School complete 'root finding' journey on the banks of Jiaming Lake yesterday.

A group of Bunun tribal youngsters from Taitung County, southeastern Taiwan, shouted "ancestral spirits, we're back" Saturday on the banks of a mountain lake located at the crossroads of the migration route of their ancestors.
They also sang a magnificent eight-part harmony to express their joy and excitement at seeing Jiaming Lake, so clear and beautiful that it is called "angel's tears," about 200 meters below the peak of Sanchashan ("three-fork mountain") in the Central Mountain Range.
The eight youngsters from Wulu Elementary School - three girls and five boys - started their "Jiaming Lake root-finding journey" with school and Forestry Bureau staff Thursday morning.
Bunun elders saw them off and wished them a smooth trip as the students began their ascent of Siangyang Mountain, which is about 2,300 meters high.
Chiu Jung-yi, director of the school's Lidao branch, said that "the students have good physical strength."
They would need it, because the trail that stretches from Siangyangshan to Jiaming Lake on Sanchashan requires hikers to climb two separate slopes of over 70 degrees on the first day of the two-day climb.
On Friday morning, the group departed for the 3,490-meter Sanchashan.
Later eight-year-old Chiu Chun, believed to be the youngest person ever to scale the mountain, said he was elated to complete the journey, noting that his father has said to him that the mountain used to be a hunting ground for the Bunun tribe.