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Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous Languages !

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  • ghwelker
    http://www.endangeredlanguagefund.org/BOL_2013_FAQs.php Washington, DC, June 10-21, 2013 Endangered Language Fund Home Breath of Life Archival Institute Home
    Message 1 of 93 , Jan 11, 2013
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      Washington, DC, June 10-21, 2013

      Endangered Language Fund Home > Breath of Life Archival Institute Home > Breath of Life FAQs

      *Please note: the 2013 BoL applications are available at http://www.ourlanguage.org/bol2013_application, applications are due on March 1, 2013 by 5 PM EST.

      Breath of Life FAQs
      General Information





      What are the dates of the Institute?
      June 10-21, 2013. Please note: participants will be expected to arrive on June 9, 2013.

      What are the eligibility requirements?
      We invite Native Americans and First Nations people who are learning and revitalizing their languages, and graduate students, faculty and other scholars who specialize in Linguistics (preferably in Native American or First Nations languages) to apply to participate in the Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous Languages (BoL).

      Must I attend the entire two-week Institute or can I come for just one week?
      You must attend the entire time. Classes, research and homework will fill the two weeks of the Institute. During the weekend (June 15th-16th) you will have some free time to explore Washington, DC or to work with your team on your project.

      Must participants be enrolled members of a Federally Recognized Tribe?
      No. We favor applications from those who are actively involved in their Native communities but we do not require that participants be enrolled members.

      Must participants and linguists be US citizens?

      How many people from a given community can come?
      This will depend partly on how many applications we get all together. But probably we would limit the number of participants to about 4 from any given community.

      Can we bring our families?
      Sadly, no; we cannot accommodate families.

      Does each member of our group need to apply individually?
      Yes. Each member of a language team should submit an application by March 1, 2013 5PM EST.

      How much free time will we have?
      You will have the weekend of June 15-16 free to explore the city on your own. But for M-F for two weeks, the days have a full schedule, and there will be homework in the evenings.

      What will we be doing?
      You will be attending morning lectures and workshops on linguistics, language documentation, archiving, and language revitalization, and spending the afternoons doing research in the archives (The Smithsonian's National Anthropological Archives and the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress.) We will also be assigning homework exercises for you and your mentors to work on together in the evening. Every group will also focus on a particular project of your own choice during the second week to present on the last day.

      Is Breath of Life right for me?
      There are many programs for Native American language revitalization, and while all have in common that they challenge the dominant assumptions that Native languages cannot be revitalized or don't have contemporary value, these programs vary significantly in their goals, approaches, and target language communities. Many language programs involve learning from living speakers of the target language and/or documenting their speech for future generations, while others focus on sharing methods of language revitalization. The Breath of Life Archival Institute for Indigenous Languages is specifically geared toward the task of finding, interpreting, and newly using the information from archival sources, such as written materials and audio recordings. For this reason, the Institute will be of particular interest for members of communities whose languages are not currently spoken, though communities with speakers can also benefit by discovering new vocabulary, uncovering old speech styles, and otherwise finding and learning language information held in archival form.

      Participants will benefit most when there is a significant quantity of archival material in the collections of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, or the National Anthropological Archives. These two archives house thousands of resources (field notebooks, other manuscripts, audio recordings, photographs) related to Native American Language and culture. Collections at the National Anthropological Archives are cataloged in SIRIS. Audio recordings at the American Folklife Center are listed in a document that is available upon request. If you are unsure whether these archives contain collections relevant for your language, contact Breath of Life staff to ask at boldc2013@....

      Beyond a general commitment to language learning from archival sources, one crucial detail is that participants must be willing and able to commit to attending and actively participating in the entire Institute. Aside from truly unforeseen circumstances such as illness, it will not be possible to arrive late, leave early, or to skip the required workshops and events.

      How will applications be judged?
      Applications will be judged based on the following criteria:

      • Commitment to language learning and revitalization using archival sources.
      • Commitment to sharing results of the workshop with other language learners through community programs or by creating projects that are widely accessible.
      • Achieving a balance of language communities.
      • Availability of archival resources at the American Folklife Center and the National Anthropological Archives.

      When will we hear whether our application has been accepted?
      We expect to notify applicants by the end of March, 2013.

      What expenses might we expect to have?
      You will be paying for your own suppers, and for all meals over the weekend. While we will be covering some of the local transportation costs, you will probably have incidental transportation costs of your own. Bring money for office supplies and other incidental expenses. Any copying of materials you would like to have will need to be arranged with the archives themselves, and there will be charges for that.

      How will we get around?
      The Metro or bus will bring you from the dorms at GWU to National Mall, where the National Museum of the American Indian and the Library of Congress are located. Shuttles from the Mall to the National Anthropological Archives will be provided. Before you come, we will provide you directions about transportation, including how to get to the GWU dorms from the airport.

      Are you paying for our transportation?
      We have the funds to partially subsidize transportation costs. We will be in touch about how to make your transportation arrangements.

      Where will we stay?
      All participants, mentors and staff who are from out of town will stay in shared rooms in a dormitory at George Washington University (GWU). A single room may be available for an additional fee.

      More questions?
      Email boldc2013@...

    • ghwelker
      http://www.sinica.edu.tw/tit/museums/1294_shung-ye.html The Shung Ye Museum captivates passers by with its exotic exterior, embellished with an aboriginal
      Message 93 of 93 , Jan 2, 2014
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        The Shung Ye Museum captivates passers by with its exotic exterior, embellished with an aboriginal flavor.

        This Yami boat, displayed in the ground-floor hall, takes at least three years to build and requires different kinds of wood for its different parts.

        Austronesian people began to arrive in Taiwan around 6,000 years ago, giving rise to the indigenous culture that still exists in the Central Mountain Range and along the eastern coastal areas of the island. Among the 19 tribes remaining nowadays, nine have managed to preserve their distinct customs and languages relatively well. These nine tribes are the Saisiat, Atayal, Tsou, Bunun, Ami, Rukai, Puyuma, Paiwan, and Yami.

        The brand-new Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines houses a refined collection of 1,000 artifacts, mainly from these nine tribes. First of its kind in Taiwan, the museum is also dedicated to preserving indigenous culture and enhancing understanding among the different ethnic groups.

        Situated diagonally opposite the world-famous National Palace Museum, the Shung Ye Museum captivates passers-by with its exotic exterior: a huge trapeziform glass wall that imparts to the four-story building a very modern appearance, a white totem pole that bisects the facade and shale pillars that are erected at the four corners help to highlight the theme of the museum, and wooden tribal carvings selected from a previous museum-held competition that are now posted around the sides.

        This slate buttress of the Paiwan house, apart from supporting the roof and walls, makes access to the roof possible.

        Once they step into the building, visitors will notice immediately the museum has been carefully planned. In the center of the ground-floor hall is a large model of Taiwan with geographical features clearly shown. The model is studded with tiny electric lights which, when turned on, mark the locations of different indigenous settlements. Moreover, wall monitors are used to give visitors a comprehensive introduction to the origins of the tribes and the natural environment in which they live. A four-meter Yami fishing boat and a Paiwan stone tablet measuring 250 cm by 94 cm are also displayed in the hall. The Yami people, living on the outlying Lanyu or Orchid Island, southeast of Taiwan, are skillful fishermen. It takes at least three years to build a Yami boat, which requires different kinds of wood for its different parts. Before beginning their job, Yami boat-builders make sacrifices and pray to their gods. The Paiwan stone tablet, featuring a "hundred-pacer" snake (considered a sacred creature), a sorceress, and hunters, depicts a scene of hunting divination.

        Since pottery making has become a lost art among the Paiwan, these pots are among the museum's most vaulable possessions.

        The second floor is designed to introduce the daily life of the aborigines. Close to the entrance are two large showcases containing models of a Yami residence and a Tsou men's house, which was used for military training and social gathering. There are also a life-sized Ami hearth and a Paiwan house of slate slabs. The low entrances of the house, a protective feature, force visitors to bend when entering, leaving themselves vulnerable to attack. Slate buttresses, apart from supporting the roof and walls, make access to the roof possible. Also on display are pottery, wickers, weaving and hunting tools, weapons, and other objects, including musical instruments like the Paiwan nose flute and the four-note (re, mi, so, and la) Atayal xylophone, which in addition to making music, was used to send messages. Nine Paiwan pots are placed opposite the entrance. Divided into male (more precious) and female, these pots represent wealth and inheritance. A male pot is differentiated from a female one by the "hundred-pacer" snake decoration. Since pottery making has become a lost art among the Paiwan, these pots are among the museum's most valuable possessions. The brightly lit third floor is for display of aboriginal costumes, textiles, embroideries, ornaments, and bead-works. Among the costumes exhibited are mourning clothes of the Paiwan and Rukai, most of which are in red, orange, yellow, and green and sewed in elaborate patterns. (It is difficult to associate them with death though!). Before wool thread was introduced by the Chinese, the aborigines used ramie in weaving. Beadwork, found only with the Paiwan, Rukai, and Puyuma, is closely linked with the owner's social status and tribal system, and is rich in religious significance--it is believed to be able to bring either blessings and protection or bad luck and punishment from the gods. Also on display are replicas of the tools used for tattooing together with an explanation on the subject. Most tribes--exceptions are the Yami and Bunun--have their own tattooing customs; for instance, only respected Atayal women could have tattoos on both cheeks, and their male counterparts on their lower foreheads and chests.

        In the first basement level, a large area is devoted to explaining the aborigines' belief systems and exhibiting their sacrificial objects such as cups and the ornately carved wooden boxes used for divination. Also included here are daggers and spears used by the Yami people to exorcize evil spirits, and Paiwan knives made of bronze--an alloy not produced on the island in the old days, and so of utmost value to both the museum and archeologists in their research. In addition, the custom of head-hunting is explained here. It was connected with tribal honor and was used to prove the innocence of a wrongly accused person, and a head that was taken had to be worshipped so that its divine power could join that of the hunter's ancestors in protecting their descendants.

        There are also an auditorium and an exhibition center on this level. Short films on weaving, pottery, and songs and dances, as well as general introduction, are shown in the auditorium every day during opening hours. Special exhibitions are held twice a year, in spring and autumn; currently showing are 200 photos on aborigines taken by a Japanese anthropologist from 1896 to 1900.

        The museum grants scholarships and awards to aborigines and local scholars for the study of indigenous cultures and provides funding for research programs at overseas universities. Apart from all this, the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborgines also encourages aborigines to produce art works and continue breathing new life into their own culture.


        The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except Mondays. On weekends and holidays, a guided tour in English is offered at 3:30 p.m. (The museum can arrange for extra English guided tours if booking is made in advance.) Admission: NT$150 for adults, NT$80 for group members, and NT$100 for students. An English-language guidebook will be available in the next few months.

        Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines : 282 Chihshan Rd., Sec. 2, Shihlin district, Taipei; Tel: (02) 841-2611

        Travel in Taiwan Museums 

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