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Mugumuyu is a stunning and rich river gorge southwest of Hualien city, just west of Liyu Lake. Last month I biked into Mugumuyu to enjoy its beauty, but got rained out. Nevertheless, I noted the number of small buses and vans flowing in and out, an appalling number of visitors, when supposedly the number was controlled. So I was dismayed, but unsurprised, to hear that the local aboriginal community had finally taken matters into its own hands and shut the road into their community down, to block the endless flow of vans in and out. TT observes:
Prior to blocking the road, the residents performed a ritual at a monument erected in remembrance of 39 villagers who were buried by mudslides triggered by Typhoon Ofelia in 1990 by firing gunshots into the air and sending up smoke signals, declaring to their ancestral spirits their determination to defend their traditional territory.Now the local news is reporting that the police plan to prosecute the aborigines. Of course.
“It’s not that we do not welcome visitors, but since our village has been opened to outside visitors in 2006, there have been on average more than 100 minibuses bringing in about 3,000 visitors per day on holidays,” village council chairman Masaw said.
“The large number of vehicles has polluted the air, creates traffic jams on the roads and makes it difficult for us to go to work in the fields,” he added.
Rakaw Didi, a spokesman for the village, which is administratively known as Tongmen Village (銅門), said that to maintain the village’s ecology and quality of life, the village council passed resolutions at the end of last month to close off the village for a year and to ask future visitors to enter into the village on foot, not in cars.
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