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Pingtung lists Paiwan village as cultural asset
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The Pingtung County Government earlier this week approved Majia Township’s request to build a special path to the remnants of Payuan Village and recognize it as a cultural asset.

Designating Payuan as a cultural asset would help it develop as a tourism hotspot for Aboriginal culture, the county government said.

Payuan is one of four original Aboriginal villages in Pingtung County and 17 nationwide.

Payuan is one of the places where Paiwan culture originated, but the government in 1974 moved its residents to Payuwan Village, citing their lack of access to education and medical facilities.

The residents of Payuwan said that in 2001 they rediscovered their connection to Payuan and began to repair the stone slab houses.

They avoided using cement, pipes and power line poles to maintain the village’s original pristine look, the residents added.

Twelve houses have been restored, the residents said, adding that they hope to eventually restore 20.

A ceremony must be held to tell the ancestral spirits that it is their descendants who are returning to the village, they said.

Separately, Majia Township on Thursday held a ceremony to mark the end of training for its first group of local tour guides, which saw 26 Aborigines receive certificates and tour guide badges.

Majia Township Warden Liang Ming-hui (梁明輝) said that the rise in popularity of Hayou River (哈尤溪) and the hot springs in nearby Wutai Township (霧台) has steadily attracted tourists to the region.

However, the village lacked uniformity regarding fees and transparency in how the funds were used, Liang said, adding that the varying quality of service at local lodges was also brought to light.

To avoid Payuan repeating Majia’s mistakes, a course was established to train local guides, Liang said, adding that the township would only allow tours that have made reservations to help control the number of people entering Payuan.

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