At certain points in the year when the time is right, people in certain villages of the indigenous Bunun people gather to pray. A group of men form a circle, linking their arms behind them, and then, they begin to sing. For the Bunun people themselves, this sung prayer has deep cultural significance. Those villages who sing this song, which is known as Pasibutbut, believe it has the power to make the millet crop grow and ensure a successful harvest.
Ever since word about Pasibutbut first got out beyond Bunun lands, it has also come to be seen as a defining characteristic of Bunun culture. The National Taiwan Museum of Prehistory is celebrating this prayer for the millet harvest in an ongoing exhibit. Joining us this week to introduce this sung prayer and its significance is assistant museum researcher Lin Chien-cheng.