Chi-Mei Wang‎ > ‎

1994 Tales of the Mountains and the Seas

 Play Title 

Tales of the Mountains and the Seas



25th November 1994


 Play Synopsis 

This play was created by selecting and tying together more than twenty legends and myths from the various aboriginal tribes of Taiwan.  The play does not just include creation myths, interpretations of the beginning of life, but also systematically chains together fascinating myths from the Tao, Paiwan, Tsou and Rukai tribes to become a story of “the never-ending circle of life”.  Whether using primitive natural legends of stones, maple leaves, or bamboo, or even tales of love between gods and human, the stories’ songs and dances explain in a simple way the emotions of primitive living.  All of this becomes the first section of the play: praise and interpretation of “life”.  Following this is stories about gods crossing over into the world of humans, such as: the theft of the millet seeds, the legend of the shark’s wife, birds and mice, the story of the anteater and the monkey.  These stories all include faint metaphors of animals as people and interpret the hardships of primitive culture development.  The family relationships, the dialogue between anthropomorphized animals, procreation and witchcraft included in these tales, as well as the survival and conflicts between tribes, were performed on a circular stage.  All of these elements combined to express an honest reflection on aboriginal culture.  Interconnected romance and beauty are held within this simplicity, allowing these stories to permeate a pure aesthetic and regret the loss of original human wisdom.