During our tour of Taiwan, we made two more stops and stayed with two very different types of Taiwanese communities. The first of these was an overnight homestay visit with members of the Rukai aboriginal tribe in the southern part of the central mountain range. In the Wutai township, where the tribe lives, we absorbed the Rukai culture, watching them dance, learning their customs and habits, and dining with them, directly experiencing the aboriginal way of life from a first-hand perspective.
The Rukai tribe live in houses built of wood, stone, bamboo and thatch. The women are expert cloth and basket weavers and also create delightful jewellery from glass. The men, meanwhile, excel at wood carving, which is highly respected in the tribe. The lily is the tribal flower of the Rukai tribe and is worshipped to such an extent that it is viewed as a representation of social order and ethics. Only brave warriors and very chaste women, after being recognised by the chief, have the right to wear a lily flower.