Laura: The east coast is home to many indigenous people. If you’re lucky, you might get to experience one of their festivals. Ethan:Tell me a little about the indigenous people. Do they have much cultural influence in Taiwan? Laura: Well, they definitely have more of a presence on the east coast. So much so that indigenous festivals are often celebrated in schools there. Ethan: I imagine that these festivals include coming-of-age rites. Laura: Yes. It is interesting to note that there are several tribes on the east coast. The Bunun were the only tribe to develop icons for marking important events during the year. Ethan: Really? You mean that they had their own calendar? Laura: That’s right. They had their own calendar long before the Chinese came. They also have a festival with a strange name. It’s called the "ear-shooting ceremony." Ethan: Does it have any particular purpose? Laura: It’s meant to teach boys how to become good hunters. Ethan: Are there any islands off the east coast? I want to go on a boat ride. Laura: Yes, Lanyu is in Taitung County. That is where the Tao tribe is from. Ethan:A tribe that lives on a small island? That must mean that their culture has survived better than some of the tribes from the main island. Laura: That was true for a long time, but it’s hard to fight off the modern world nowadays. Ethan: You’re right of course. It’s the same story everywhere now. Laura:Yeah. Apparently the government even made the Tao people live in concrete houses above ground. They traditionally lived in underground houses that were better suited to the climate. Ethan: I bet they have deep basements! They must have managed to keep that part of their culture.