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Aircraft decorated to promote indigenous culture

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Council of Indigenous Peoples (原民會) and China Airlines (華航) yesterday unveiled an aircraft bearing decals depicting scenes from the vibrant cultures of Taiwan's indigenous tribes during an inaugural flight ceremony yesterday in Taoyuan.

Most notably, the aircraft represents a bolstering of relations and cultural exchanges since the establishment of the Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs of Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC). In addition, studies show that show that Taiwan's indigenous people and New Zealand's Maori both belong to the Astronesian language group, and share similarities in cultural and genetic attributes, with both nations eager to expand efforts toward the strengthening of relations and research between the two indigenous groups.

The “Visiting Indigenous Tribes of Taiwan Liveried Aircraft” is adorned on an Airbus A330-300, a jet airliner with a capacity of 30 business class seats and 277 economy class seats. The aircraft made its inaugural flight yesterday from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to Auckland via Sydney, with China Airlines stating that the route will be available to travelers seven times a week.

Vivid Illustrations of Traditional Wedding Rites

The livery features scenes from the Wedding Celebrations, a collection of works unveiled to the public for the first time yesterday by Sakuliu Pvavaljung, a renowned artist born into the Paiwan tribe in the ancient village of Tjavadjan from the social order of Ravar. Covering the hull of the aircraft, the “Visiting the Indigenous Tribes of Taiwan Liveried Aircraft” vividly portrays the grandeur of a traditional indigenous tribal wedding, illustrating the carrying of five ceremonial dowry gifts from the groom on the right side of the fuselage, and the carrying of the bride and the tjemiyuma, a ceremonial wedding swing on the left side of the fuselage. The main logo “MASALU! TAIWAN” displayed prominently on the aircraft is derived from a Paiwan greeting to invite and welcome visitors to Taiwan.

Currently, Taiwan's indigenous people number approximately 530,000, with the government officially recognizing 14 tribes, each with its own unique culture, language and customs. As a leading player in Taiwan's aviation industry, China Airlines strives to promote Taiwan's strength as a regional cultural hub. The latest “Visiting Indigenous Tribes of Taiwan” represents the company's efforts toward the endeavor following previous collaborations with local artist Jimmy Liao, and the Tourism Bureau.

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Members of the Paiwan tribe in traditional tribal formal dress pose before the Airbus A330-300 jetliner at an inaugural flight ceremony in Taoyuan, yesterday. During the ceremony, members of the Paiwan tribe performed traditional dances and rites while showcasing the vibrant culture of the indigenous peoples of Taiwan. (Veronika Tomanova, The China Post)

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