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Regulations protecting indigenous peoples' cultural rights take effect

Regulations protecting indigenous peoples' cultural rights take effect

Taipei, March 1 (CNA) Regulations allowing Taiwan's indigenous peoples to apply for exclusive intellectual property rights over cultural creations, such as traditional religious ceremonies, music and dance, came into force on Sunday in a move that will help preserve aboriginal cultural heritage. The relevant laws-- Regulations for Implementing the Protection Act for the Traditional Intellectual Creations of Indigenous Peoples -- allow Taiwan's aborigines to apply to the Council of Indigenous Peoples for protection of their cultural rights. The Protection Act for the Traditional Intellectual Creations of Indigenous Peoples was promulgated in 2007 and the guidelines for implementing it took effect on Sunday. Officials with the council say the laws were passed to preserve the traditional knowledge and culture of indigenous peoples, safeguard their cultural rights and promote the sustainable development of indigenous knowledge systems and practices. The intellectual creations involved may be traditional religious ceremonies, music, dance, sculptures, weaving, patterns, clothing, folk crafts or any other expression of the cultural achievements of indigenous peoples. Sinan Mavivo (??????), head of the Tao Foundation, a group which seeks to preserve the indigenous culture of the Tao people on Orchid Island, said her foundation began to survey Tao tribal totems and culture last year and has already filed an application to preserve cultural rights with the council on behalf of the tribe. Among the items listed in the application are the Flying Fish Festival, the launching ceremonies of Tao balangays, or "big boats," along with the various symbols and patterns on the boats, such as the fish-eye and human-shaped patterns, she said. However, not all Taiwanese indigenous tribes have held such discussions or reached a consensus on the intellectual creations of their tribes. Among the eight aboriginal tribes in Taitung County, for example, only the Tao tribe has submitted an application so far. Pastor Sakinu Tepiq (???) of the Paiwan tribe said there are differences between rituals and artifacts among various Paiwan tribal chief families and the Paiwan people have yet to hold a serious discussion on the issue. Similarly, cultural worker Dahai (??) of the Bunun tribe pointed out that the Bunun's renowned polyphonic choral singing, along with its Malastapang ritual that praises hunters' achievements, are performed slightly differently in various Bunun villages. The tribal people have yet to address the issue. There are currently around 530,000 indigenous people in Taiwan, accounting for two percent of the population of Taiwan. Currently, there are 16 officially recognized indigenous tribes in Taiwan. (By Tyson Lu and Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-22 16:51 GMT+08:00