Members of the Bunun ethnic indigenous people in Zhuoxi Township, Hualien County fired a 25-gun salute at the opening of an annual ceremony, linking generations from the past, to the present, and into the future today, April 25.
The 25 shots fired from the hunter’s guns represented 23 Bunun men who were executed in the Dafen Incident, in 1915, when Japanese authorities attempted to confiscate the hunting rifles that the tribe were dependent on to survive; and two men who more recently passed away after contributing to the survival of the tribe’s culture, and the understanding of their unique way of life, and the ecology of their territory.
In preparation for the Ear-shooting festival, adult men go into the mountains to hunt, and on their return, bring back the bounty for the feast, and cut the ears off the animals to serve as targets for the younger generation to practice shooting.
The honing of the younger generation’s skills ensures the survival of the tribe.
This year’s festival coincides with ANZAC Day, a holy day that also commemorates the fallen warriors in Australia, and New Zealand.
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