Shuilian Old Granary, a new tribal attraction
The East Coast National Scenic Area Administration of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (hereinafter referred to as the East Coast Administration) launched two programs, the East Coast Capacity Building and Demonstration Program for Sustainable Tribal Tourism and the East Coast Art Life Connection Platform Program. Hualien County Eco-Cultural Recreational Entrepreneurship Industry Sustainable Development Association applied to the programs for the restoration of an old granary in Shuilian Tribe. In association with artist Chien Yin-Ru, the tribe's migration history was vividly presented in the mural inside the granary. An opening ceremony was held on October 23 to spread the word of a newly opened artistic attraction in Shuilian.
Hualien County Eco-Cultural Recreational Entrepreneurship Industry Sustainable Development Association is a local organization that runs Cidal Hunter School, offering experience-oriented itineraries. Members of the association have been participating in the research residency program of the East Coast Administration since 2017. Through courses, locals examine tribal resources and build consensus on sustainable tourism. This year, the association applied to the East Coast Capacity Building and Demonstration Program for Sustainable Tribal Tourism with the proposal of "Shuilian Life Museum" renovated from the abandoned granary under the lease with the National Property Administration. Craftsmen of the tribe took charge of the renovation which involved fixing the roof, windows, and painting the walls. The association has also applied to the East Coast Art Life Connection Platform Program for further resources. Chien Yin-Ru and Nogdup were invited to be the program's resident artists to work on the mural "Words passed down by ancestors" inside the granary.
In the future, the granary will serve as a center for explaining the tribe's migration history, mountain and sea-themed exhibitions, tribal cultural exchanges, and the training for guides. It is also linked with the tribe's public arena where people's everyday life unfolds, including the old street that was previously a provincial highway, the old oil company, rice mill, pharmacy, clinic, grocery store, etc. A visit to the granary is like stepping into a museum of life.
In addition to promoting the historic tribe of Shuilian through mini-trips and guided itineraries, the program is expected to facilitate the development of the tribe's tourism industry and create business opportunities that appeal to young members of the tribe currently based elsewhere. Members of the tribe are also encouraged to engage in the development of the tribe through the "Shuilian Life Museum Community Center Renovation Plan".
Shuilian Granary reopened on Saturday, October 23, 2021. An opening ceremony joined by elders of the tribe was held to celebrate the results of the community's joint efforts and to commemorate the daily lives of olden days, as well as the tribe's traditional wisdom manifested in various ways.