Collect Rattan for You by Salizan Takisvilainan

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Competent But Unfitted

Bunun poet's loving poem
Translated by Akuanx Poiconx Ne Tfuya
Cover photo by Lin Kao-Chih


Collect Rattan for You

By Salizan Takisvilainan

Translated by Akuanx Poiconx Ne Tfuya


One rattan relying on the tree

Climbs up.

Covered with long and sharp thorns,

One green hundred pacer

Several meters long.


Pray to god

Tame this enormous snake.


This snake 

Crawling on the ground,

Climbing up to the top

And hang in there


In the bush,

Look it right in the eyes

Chop chop


After cutting it down,

Peel off the skin covered by thorns

And cut into a regular length

Dry it under the sun


Step by step,

Open up the heart,

ma-uman bulzas(cut it roughly).

malvanis(cut it finely).

Put crumbs of rattan

Into the three-stone stove,

Light up the house

For you to quietly

Weave your cloth.


Outside the house,

I sharpened a stem into canes,

matin-un(To weave)

And weave into one

Hundred-pace snake pattern headband.


Shy as myself,

Quietly put the headband on the bed

by your side.








Author: Salizan Takisvilainan

Indigenous Bunun writer from Taiwan, Salizan Takisvilainan's I AM Looking For A Bottle of Good Wine In A Library was the winner of the 2016 Gold Medal of Taiwan Literature Award, the highest honor of Taiwan's literature. His latest book of prose Carrying Mountains with their Tumpline - the Story of Bunun Mountain Guides, Porters, and Forest Patrols was shortlisted by the 2020 Taiwan Literature Award. In order to preserve Bunun language, Salizan Takisvilainan established Tastubuqul tu maduq i malas-Bunun tu papatasanan(A String of Millet Independent Tribal Language Studio) and started documenting the wise words from tribal elders so the disappearing Bunun culture might be retrieved back little by little.



Akuanx Poiconx Ne Tfuya is a curator of Kategalan Indigenous Culture Center, Taipei



Submitted: February 09, 2021

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