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Millet, Farming and Cultural Heritage: Cultural Actions and Social Practices through University-Community Partnerships
Hsiu-Yen, Yeh Ph.D.
Field Site
Yuli Township
Publication Link
Hsiu-Yen, Yeh Ph.D. / Publications / Publications Link
Finacial Source
Ministry of Science and Technology 
Research Assistants
Xing-Han, Chen, Huei-An, Tian, Hsi-Wen, Chu 
Cooperation Agency
Chun-Rih Elementary School, Chun-Rih Community Development Association 
The proposal presents the process of participatory action research of millet-growing on campus as an intergenerational learning opportunity among elder tribal members and young students in which biocultural ecosystem knowledge is passed on, thus contributing to the process of students’ identity formation. Through an examination of the university-millet growing project in Taiwan, I consider this action as a cultural practice as a differentiation, as an ideology, and as a display of ethnic identity. From university to indigenous community, I present millet as a cultural heritage in its wider social, political, and economic contexts. In particular, I offer relevant critical observations on the manifestations of traditional millet-growing and its cultural festival practices that are initiated by university students. These practices are multifaceted and, like any biocultural ecosystem, are represented in both the tangible and intangible cultural heritage resources of a locale. My aim is to enhance the visibility of the roles of traditional indigenous plants and their farming in the wider field of ethnobiology and indigenous studies. The millet farm is a cultural site in which the teaching and learning of tribal languages as well as culture norms, values, and rituals are encouraged. This paper explicates the ways in which the analysis of cultural meanings and the attention to traditional indigenous knowledge of millet and practice are intertwined. I argue that the reproduction of cultural knowledge into students’ everyday life practice of millet growing recapitulates traditional knowledge and through it the biocultural ecosystem is embodied. I explore what forms of representation and performing culture arise within these ethicized spaces and cultural landscapes. At the same time, millet stories and farming practices act as another way of performing cultural identity in order for indigenous people to take back their rights of cultural interpretation and express who they are in this globalized world.  
Yuli Township 
Xiuguluan River 
Seashore Mountain Range 
Main Keywords
millet culture
cultural heritage
Participatory Action Research university-community partnerships  
Secondary Keywords
cultural action