Weaving Memories for the Inheritance of Traditional Skills

Yen-Shau Lin
Published: 17 July 2023
Last edited: 17 July 2023
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The Mapihaw Tribe is located in a mountainous area adjacent to the Daan River Basin, possessing natural landscapes with diverse ecosystems and the traditional tribal culture of the Tayal G'saya branch. Its culturally representative traditional crafts have declined due to contemporary economic trends. To unite the tribe and promote tribal culture, the Mapihaw Tribe Development Association was formed in 2013. In the beginning, they reconnected the tribal division of labor by holding cultural activities through the operation of the tribal market. In 2016, they invited tribal elders to teach Boehmeria nivea L. Gaud planting, Calamus formsanus weaving, and traditional Tayal weaving, and integrated traditional rituals and oral history records as a cultural revitalization strategy. In 2021, they promoted the tribal certification system for weaving, and in 2022, they called on tribal members to build a Calamus formsanus bridge using ancient weaving methods, demonstrating the collective spirit of the Tayal culture's gaga faith.


East Asia
Scale of implementation
Forest ecosystems
Temperate evergreen forest
Indigenous people
Local actors
Sustainable livelihoods
Traditional knowledge
One Health
Good governance of landscapes
Changes in socio-cultural context
Sustainable development goals
SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth
SDG 11 – Sustainable cities and communities
SDG 15 – Life on land
SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
Aichi targets
Target 2: Biodiversity values integrated
Target 4: Sustainable production and consumption
Target 7: Sustainable agriculture, aquaculture and forestry
Target 14: Ecosystem services
Target 15: Ecosystem restoration and resilience
Target 18: Traditional knowledge
Target 19: Sharing information and knowledge


Taian Township, Miaoli County, Taiwan


The Mapihaw Tribe Development Association took over the operation of the tribal market in 2011. In collaboration with the Sheipa National Park, they organized cultural immersion activities, such as the Boehmeria nivea L. Gaud Life Festival. The goal was to engage tribal members, revive the tribe's collective spirit, raise awareness of sustainable environmental development, and promote the conservation of water resources and traditional cultures. Since 2016, through the revitalization of the Boehmeria nivea L. Gaud culture and yarn art training workshops, the association has inherited traditional tribal crafts and recorded tribal elders’ life stories and wisdom gained from living amidst forests and mountains. In 2019, the association promoted the tribal certification system for Boehmeria nivea L. Gaud yarn weavers and four were certified, cultivating the seeds of the Boehmeria nivea L. Gaud culture. In 2021, the association called on tribal members to jointly build a 35-meter-long Calamus formsanus bridge, which was constructed over the next three years to showcase the traditional Tayal crafts’ local knowledge and skills passed down through memory and convey the complete cultural context among land, people, and culture.

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Li-Chuan Weng Forestry and Nature Conservation Agency