Once upon the time, there was a great culture in Eastern Taiwan 3,000 years ago……很久以前，在三千年前的花東縱谷，有個強盛的南島文明，叫……
很久很久以前，在 3,000 年前的花東縱谷，有個強盛的民族，這民族的首都就座落在現在台東卑南的南王部落附近。
在這個文明裡，有當時全台灣，甚至全南洋最高超的工藝水準，他們知道怎麼加工玉器、板岩，有挑高三米的宮殿；在宗教上，他們已有複雜的祭祀文化。Once upon a time, there was a strong kingdom in Huadong Valley 3,000 year ago……
The capital of the kingdom was located right in Beinan Township of Taitung City nowadays.
在首都 85 公里的北方，也就是現在花蓮瑞穗一帶，有另外一個城市。這座附屬城市專門供應首都的經濟，並且負責從中央山脈開採板岩、加工玉器，然後運送到南方的首都。此外在現在都蘭的海邊，也有文明的另一個據點，是文明的另一個宗教中心。
卑南文化人雖然有「卑南」兩字，但和卑南族可是不一樣的 －－ 事實上，這兩個民族還常互相征戰呢！
在卑南族人地震術的摧毀下，卑南文化人的帝國從此一蹶不振，原本王國的人四散，成了後來的阿美族和排灣族等各部落。而卑南文化人在台東市的據點，也成了一片荒蕪的廢墟，成了卑南族耆老們口中告誡的不祥之地。僅剩下月型石柱徒留原地，讓人遙想 3,000 年前的偉大……
As far as we know, the kingdom had had the state-of-the-art artistry at the time among all Taiwan, or perhaps all Austronesian cultural zone. They already knew how to refine jade and process slates; in architecture, they had had three-meter high-ceiling palace; in religion, they had had complex ceremonial culture.
85 kms to the north of the capital was another city in Ruisui, Hualian nowadays, which yield to the rule of the capital. The city in Ruisui supported the capital in economy mainly. The people there dug slates from the Central Range of Taiwan and processed jade, and transported them to the capital for religious or economical reason. There was another religious centre located in Dulan in the Eastern Coast of Taitung nowadays, and was one of the kingdom’s cultural centre, too.
There was one thing in common among all the cities — They all worshiped Mt. Dulan, and all of their religious constructions, like the monoliths in the capital and in Ruisui, and the slate coffins, all face toward Mt. Dulan.
Therefore, we name the culture according to the location of the capital as “Beinan Culture”!
Even though the name Beinan Culture sounds similar with an indigenous people living nearby, Puyuma (called also Beinan in Chinese), the two are actually totally different — Actually they fought against each other!
Puyuma people were not in an adventageous position in the beginning due to the strong power of the Beinan kingdom. However, due to the corruption politically of the kingdom, it started to lose control of the city in Ruisui, only Saoba monoliths were left as an evidence that it used to be in the domain of the Beinan culture.
Later on, as led by the King Arunayan, the Puyuma people wielded the spell of earthquake and successfully summoned a great earthquake to attack the cities of the Beinan people, tearing down all their constructions, only a monolih menhir is left until today.
The kingdom of Beinan then collapsed and could never revive, whereas the people escaped to other places around the Huadong Valley and became the ancestors of Amis nowadays. The ruins of the capital of Beinan also became a cursed place by the elders of Puyuma, with the single monolith menhir erect still for us to recall the greatness of the kingdom 3,000 years ago……
The story above is a fantasy based on Mr. Mu-Di Yu’s imagination according to the discovery in anthropology of Beinan Culture and the legend of Puyuma to fight against the people of Lalaes.
Source: 游牧笛 / Photo via YuKengShih (CC Licensed)