When you come to the street of aborigine at Hualien Dongdaemun Night Market, you must try “Alivongvong,” which is a kind of delicious food made by the Amis, an aborigine group in Taiwan. It is sort of a lovers’ box meal for the Amis.
There was a legend in the Amis. Several years ago, everytime a husband went out for hunting, his wife would make a lunch box by using the leaves of Pandanus tectorius. Owing to Ami’s nature－－industrious and thrifty, wives wrapped the food into weaved baskets to make sure that their husband had their meals during break time. The shape of “Alivongvong” is like a weaving art. Its ingredient includes glutinous rice and slices of fried meat. After steaming, the smell of Pandanus tectorius will infiltrate into the meat and glutinous rice, which makes “Alivongvong” taste so delicious.
Pandanus tectorius naturally grows nears the water, and the whole plant is covered by thorns. Furthermore, it takes lots of time and efforts in the process of making “Alivongvong”. Before, knitting is the skill Amis’ women had to learn during their lifetime. Thus, when you have opportunities to visit the street of aborigine at Hualien Rainbow Night Market, don’t forget to try this food, slow down your breath, and feel the life in Huelien. You can not only enjoy the taste, the look and the smell, but also feel the culture of Taiwan Aborigines cultivated by Taiwan’s lands. （Photograph by Shin-Kai Lin）