Background of the song:

In the early 1970ies an unknown iron ship stranded on Lanyu's coast near the area of the five caves. The soldiers based on Lanyu at that time tied the boat to the rocks from all sides. Important documents were required to be safeguarded and delivered to the police station. The ship was broken by strong waves. Its fuel leaked and covered the whole beach. It smelled badly and the pollution killed all kinds of fish there. The metal parts of the ship sunk into the sea polluting the coral reef. Finally the ship completely sunk.


It took more than three years, until gradually the water quality improved, but the ecosystem needed even longer to recover from this pollution. While the government cared a lot about the documents on the ship, they didn't care for the harm to wildlife nor for the pollution of the fishing grounds, which were a burden for Iraraley village for many years.

After some years the Tao people began diving there for collecting the sunken ship's fragments as a resource of metal. They produced farming tools from it.

Original text:

avan nira ilasapen o

船 他們異族 者

Boat they not Tao people


oyata pinangad so kamaogan na i

它 拉長 製造

extend it, produce


iyangongozit da jida latai

快速 無法 超越

cannot surpass fast


jitalatai inganangana da sopozo namen na i ya

不能超越 跨越 各島 我們 這

cannot surpass this island, were here


pini raalin na maciriris

它被 損壞 而 漂流

it got dammaged, therefore drifting 


maciriris rana ta i na lemayan

漂流 已 被 打擊

drifting, already hit


na no inazobob do cinalatawan

那 海象 在 航行中

the situation of the ocean during the the journey


na jirana longey

它 無法 再行駛

it was not possible to drive the boat


jirana longey o yamina siyasiwaz

無法 再行駛 已經 左右搖晃

impossible to go,  moving left and right


do palanowan na i

在 海中

in the sea


i cinamogo no maoran ja lokeh

使恐懼 乘坐 者 船員

fearful  go  boat crew


ma oran ji loga o lominangara

乘 坐 者 船員 仰望

go boat crew looking up


so anit a lomi nawag tomlalap do langaraen

天 召 喚 隱身 在 天上

to the sky ...are calling what is hidden in sky


am lalap do langaraen

隱身 在 天上

hidden in sky


opey kamataen nira imanira do

那 負責(船長) 他們 外國

captain they foreigners


cinalarangan na oma lasiyas

停泊 在 陡峭 岩壁

anchor at steep rock coast


omalalasiyas do ni layolayong na no paong

陡峭 被 搖晃 浪

steep shaking waves


a lomolomoey siya zimokamoken

吞 噬 它 解體

swallow, break it apart


zimokamoken na o palamoamolonan nyo ta lowaji

裂解 那 世世代代 你們 長壽

broken apart, generations after generations, long life


paladadawen no ased no malano

被飄移 在 逆流 湧浪

drifting counter current, big waves


Case I  Boat Sunk Near Five Cave Area  



Boat Sunk Near Five Cave Area

song / scalable composition / work in progress

實驗一  五孔洞沈船



In  1971 an iron ship came.

A boat from abroad, they aren’t Tao people.

what is this ship, what does it bring along?

it’s construction design is long and stretched

it can’t surpass … it can’t go fast

it can’t pass the island, where we are.

the boat gets close to the five cave coast

where the ghosts stay around, in their dark compound.

the ship gets cracked, it is drifting uncontrolled

it is drifting, it is hit, it is cracked … no control

the ocean’s state … it is drifting, it is cracked,

they cannot steer, they cannot get control


they cannot drive this broken boat

it is shaking left and right … shaken in the oceans throat

the crew drives the boat …in the most scary way

they drive this boat … they are looking up to the sky


they call the sky … what is hidden in the sky?

oh hidden in the sky … what is hidden in the sky?

the captain from abroad … lets the anchor drops ashore,

tons of fuel spill, tons of fuel leak.


fuel covers the coast with its poisonous load.

big fish they're gonna die... small fish they're gonna die.

the oil is spreading, what a dirty cry!

the waves rock the boat so steep, it falls apart.


they devour the boat, it breaks it into parts,

scattered into pieces … broken into metal parts

the metal sinks on the oceans ground.

they corals get harmed in their area's wound.

this affects our lives from age to age

drifting counter current and big waves, too.

the years go by and nature gives a sigh

the metal pieces lie on the ocean's floor.


we collect the rests of the broken ship,

the metal can be used by the skilful smith.

this affects our lives from age to age,

what was this ship, what did it bring along?


"palamoamolonan nio da lowaji" in Tao language means:

"things always continue ... from generation to generation, our ancestors, long life".


Maybe a good translation would be:

"age by age ... we are offspring of them"

Chien Ping Kuo, showing the place, where the ship stranded. Potos © Johannes Kretz 2019