⟨ Craft ⟩

The Apo ilisin wine glass

To understand a tribal harvest festival though a spoon / hairpin

Words / Jas Tse
Translation / Iris Heung

好多時候對一個地方、一種文化或一個人,我們往往只是耳聞,抱著一知半解,又因為這般不熟悉而帶有各種臆想。譬如部落、原住民這一區塊,會想要探究而又有些無從入手的尷尬。但自兩年前認識了Kamaro’an,便終於開啟了這道神秘大門。發源自台灣阿美族,以在地的人、在地的傳統工藝與文化為根基,再循著生活化的面向去創作的家品品牌。我們過往曾到訪他們位於花蓮縣的據點,遊走在大片草田與海岸間,終於能近距離感受動人作品背後,給予著豐盛養分的自然面貌。而緊隨著往後,每隔一陣子,也會發現令人讚嘆的新作品

這次介紹名為「ilisin的酒杯」,阿美族語「ilisin」為祭祀之意,是於每年七月在花蓮縣港口部落舉行,為慶祝當地水稻豐收的感謝祭祀慶典,並以此作為跨年(根據阿美族曆法)的界線。而祭典裡其中一個儀式,是當眾人圍圈起舞之時,部落青年們會手執長柄竹杯向女性敬酒。青年會早在一個月前便親手製作大量的竹杯,設計亦會每年不同,光景很是迷人。

上面這酒杯正是取其概念,由陳昭興(Apo)設計與製作。Apo來自港口部落Makota’ay,熱愛海洋與田野生活,擅長繪畫與木工,近年也有涉足表演領域,對生活的感受大概都長成了創作養分。「ilisin的酒杯」保留著原本的優雅形態,以烏心木為材,製作成一個比原版更為堅硬的微縮版本。小小一支、姿態修長,表面留有淡淡刮痕,順著木紋蕩漾開來,非常素淨怡人。能用作舀取調味料或沖調咖啡的小匙,又或權充髮簪俐落地把長髮盤起,畫面也會很美。稍微扭轉了原生用途,變成大家能夠常常使用之物。就如Kamaro’an說的:「當產品是從實用與質感出發,而不是觀光紀念的衝動消費時,才會產生更永續健康的消費模式。」

我們現在就從這支小匙/髮簪開始了解一個部落、其源遠流長的祭典、及其不甘隨著城市化而隕落的傳統與手藝,期許Kamaro’an能一直讓更多人看見這些美好。

People tend to impose multiple imaginations on an unfamiliar place, a certain kind of culture or simply a person based on some hearsays or trivial knowledge. For instance, when it comes to understanding a tribe or the indigenous people, the plan for an in-depth examination is often hindered by the lack of a channel for learning. The doorway to a mysterious culture has finally opened for me two years ago when I got to know about Kamaro’an, a homeware brand originated from the Amis people who are native to Taiwan. Taking root in the people and culture of the ethnic group as the design concept, Kamaro’an is a brand that creates products for everyday use. We once visited their studio in Hualien for an interview. Strolling in between a vast grassland and the ocean, we came to understand how the natural landscape becomes the inspiration of their affectionate works. The brand never ceases to create stunning new works.

The new product that we are featuring this time is the ilisin wine glass. Ilisin is an Amis word meaning “sacrifice”, which is the annual ceremony of the Makota’ay tribe held in Hualien in July to celebrate a good harvest of rice crops. It also marks the start of a new Amis calendar year. One of the rituals is for the young males of the tribe to serve wine in bamboo wine glass with long handles to the females, while everyone is dancing in a circle. The young men would start handcrafting a bulk of the bamboo glass one month before the ceremony; the design of the glass also changes every year. The ritual is absolutely stunning to watch.

The wine glass above, designed and made by Apo, takes expiration from this very ceremony. Apo is a member of the Makota’ay tribe who is passionate about life by the sea and in the field. He is not only talented in drawing and carpentry, but has also begun doing performing arts recently. The ilisin wine glass is a miniature version that preserves the original elegancy and made with Formosan Michelia, which is even harder than the original. The traces of carving remain visible on the slender and small wine glass, together with the original pattern of the wood itself, they exude a pure and pleasant vibe. The ilisin wine glass can be used as a small spoon for scooping seasonings or stirring your coffee; it can also be used as a charming Chinese hairpin to secure a hair bun. When creating this product, Kamaro’an has departed from its original use to turn it into a utensil that is more commonly used. As told by the brand, “A healthy and sustainable consumption pattern can only be created when products are made based on usability and quality, instead of making products for impulsive consumption like purchasing a souvenir when traveling.”

Through this small spoon or hairpin, let us begin to learn about the tribe, its ancient ceremony, and its traditions and craftsmanship that resist from going lost in the process of urbanization. We hope Kamaro’an can let more people see the beauty of these.