Disaster, relocation, and resilience: recovery and adaptation of Karamemedesane in Lily Tribal Community after Typhoon Morakot, Taiwan

Sasala Taiban, Hui Nien Lin, Chun Chieh Ko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

After Typhoon Morakot struck Taiwan in the summer of 2009, government officials relocated the indigenous village communities of Kucapungane, Adiri, Karamemedesane, Kinulane, Dawadawan and Tikuvulu into sub-montane, permanent housing. Because villagers were accustomed to living in mountainous areas, they encountered many challenges while adapting their lifestyle and culture into a new setting. During the relocation process, government and post-disaster relief agencies disregarded, oversimplified, and concealed social vulnerability. Can indigenous communities recover from typhoon damage and continue to pass down their culture? Using in-depth interviews and participant observation, this research examined how Karamemedesane villagers organised and reconstructed themselves using their land for farming practices, culture, rituals, and livelihoods following the government-forced, community migration. The source of resilience for Karamemedesane turned out to be the cultivation of red quinoa, a traditional food crop. Villagers rediscovered the cultural value of food through small changes in farming practices and knowledge, social network and social learning, leadership, and innovation-aided recovery that resulted in establishing the Academy of Special Rukai Crops. Results suggested that post-disaster policies for indigenous communities should be land-based and culturally relevant to promote transformability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-222
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Hazards
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 14

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • General Environmental Science
  • Sociology and Political Science

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