Thursday 24 September 2009

Witch school opens in Taiwan

An aboriginal tribe in south Taiwan has opened a school for witches. The Paiwan tribe, which is one of 14 aboriginal tribes in Taiwan, embarked on the school project in order to preserve its witchcraft heritage.

Witches were once important people in Taiwanese tribal society. Fifty years ago the Paiwan tribe had 100 witches who would perform blessings and conduct rituals. Now, this number has dwindled to 20.

The tribe hopes the new school will attract young people to witchcraft and prevent unique Paiwan customs and traditions from disappearing.

Ms Wong Yu-hua, a social affairs official in Pingtung county, Taiwan, said: "We are witnessing the disappearance of the ancient ritual. We are trying hard to preserve it. Passing on psychic acts to the young generation is a good way to understand Paiwan culture."

Taiwan has a total population of 23 million, of which 490,000 are aborigines.

I wish the school every success!

The full story appeared on The Straits Times at

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