Born in an aboriginal Atayal tribe named Mihu.
Went to Tungshih Junior High School, where he was often discriminated due to his aboriginal identity.
During this period, he read extensively the poetry by Chou Meng-tieh, Yu Guangzhong, and Yang Mu, and composed his first modern poem. He started to pay attention to the life of the lower class in society after learning about Wu Cheng’s poetry.
(Note：Photograph provide by Walis Nokan; Walis Nokan (the first from the right) in his third year in the college)
“Mihuo: Record of the Land” Award Acceptance Speech
In these last few years, I have been gradually enlightened through the myths and legends of old men, while my dreams have also begun to slowly take shape. For example: Returning to the tribe to establish a children’s library; compose volume after volume of fairy tales passed down through tribal oral tradition; open up my home for people to come and chat; inviting tribespeople to come tell stories by the fireplace at night; regularly asking elders to speak about their life histories…Oh, you’re asking me about winning the award! The prizemoney can help to start realize a little dream of mine to build a library for tribal children. It’s not the type with air-conditioned rooms, but one with flowers and grass, with trees and dirt, a library that can cultivate dreams in the hearts of children. If you like it, come and find me!
(Note：Photograph provide by Cheng Sheng-yi)
According to the rule of Atayal naming.
“Losin Wadan: Colonialism, Ethnicity and Self” Award Acceptance Speech
In this year of field research into tribesmen during the “White Terror” era; amid the back-and-forth journey between Central, Northern, Hualien, Taitung and Southern Taiwan; and while combing through those memories and years tribespeople cannot bear to discuss the most—I understood: This was a journey of enlightenment and growth for me.
I have never forgotten; I was in my early 20s at the time. The tribe elder who was captured and imprisoned for being bent on safeguarding the dignity of the tribe—40 years later, the white hair on his head still refuses to lie down, a manifestation of his soaring will. The elder said: “We are from Pinsbuohang (the mythical origins of the Atayals, meaning ‘Cause stone to break’). Our ancestors passed through hardships and broke through stone to come into this world. Remember: We Atayals are the children of stone-breakers!”
After writing “Losin Wadan”, I know very well that this is just the first step toward breaking the stone. Learning and reminiscing the spirit of our ancestors has always been the goal I and this generation of tribespeople have been working toward.
“Have You Seen the Rainbow Bridge?” Award Acceptance Speech
Cinema has always had the convention of “paying tribute” to classic films. “Have You Seen the Rainbow Bridge?” is a tribute to Su Tong’s “The Completion of a Ritual”, much like how my prose poetry over the past year have been repeated tributes to Su Tong. In this perspective, some of the boundlessness of literature can perhaps be gleaned from my indigenous identity. If we interpret the state of Taiwan’s Northern and Southern literature in this way, then perhaps mutual questioning, research, and more introspection and sympathy will be able to slowly smooth out “ideological” debates. I personally believe so.
Accordingly, when I enter into various literature competitions carrying works touted as “indigenous literature”, it is actually no longer about winning prizes; what is important is the impact on all sorts of ideological literature hegemony. Thus, the judges’ positive reaction to “Have You Seen the Rainbow Bridge?” is actually a progressive testimony to the fact that the garden of Taiwan’s literature diversity is equipped with the soil of growth, allowing us to see the world through the point of view and perspective of another window. I also hope readers will be able to “see” in “Have you Seen the Rainbow Bridge” a spiritual world of indigenous peoples that is on the brink of distress, and through sympathy and introspection, adjust our views toward this group of people.
(Note：Photograph provide by Cheng Sheng-yi)
“Seven-Day Reading ” Award Acceptance Speech: A Journey Forged Through Suffering
“Seven-Day Reading” depicts the plight of Native Americans. It is also a response to the tribe I call home. This is a journey forged through suffering—as is the case with history, this writing also suffered through the fate of multiple rejections. Fortunately, the judges saw the faint glow within and allowed it to take flight from the murky files, showing that even a faint light can shoot straight to people’s hearts.
(Note：Photograph provide by Cheng Sheng-yi)
The first aboriginal poet represent Taiwan for this event.
(Note：Photograph provide by Embajada de la República de China (Taiwan) en Nicaragua)
(Note：Photograph provide by Centre culturel de Taïwan à Paris)
Entered Tungshih Junior High School
Entered the Taiwan Provincial Junior Teachers College in Taichung (current National Taichung University of Education)
Joined the Comet Poets Society
Published a prose on the 37th issue of the magazine Mindao Literature & Art
Military service in Kinmen
Began to publish his works under the pseudonym Liu Ao
Rise of ethnic consciousness
His work “Amaryllis” was included in the annual collection of poetry by Elite Books
Becoming a member of the Labor Party in Taiwan
Establishment of the Aboriginal Post
Change his name to Walis Nokan and started to write and publish works under this aboriginal name
Establishment of the Hunter Culture Magazine
His poem “Concerning Atayal” won the 1992 poetry annual award from the Modern Poetry Society
Founded the Research Center for Humanities of Taiwan’s Aboriginal Peoples
"Mihuo: Record of the Land" won the Jury Prize from the 16th China Times Literary Award
Returned to his tribe to teach and renamed himself as Walis Nokan
“Losin Wadan: Colonialism, Ethnicity and Self” won the First Prize for Non-ficition Novel from the 17th China Times Literary Award
Missing My People won the 5th Chen Xiu-Xi Poetry Award
“He Makes Another Survey” won the Jury Prize for the 19th Modern Chinese Poetry from China Times Literary Award
“Atayal (War, 1896-1930)” won the First Prize for Modern Poetry from the first Taiwan Literature Award
“Have You Seen the Rainbow Bridge?” won the Newcomer Prize for Fiction from the 12th Unitas Literature Award
Helped with post-921 earthquake reconstructions
Published the novel series Brutal Wars
Went to Japan for the Taiwan and Japan International Exchange Symposium
“Seven-Day Reading” [Qiridu] won the Prose Prize from the 33th Unitas Literature Award
“School for Little Poems” won Modern Chinese Poetry Prize from the Wu Zhuo-liu Literature Award
Invited to attend the 11 Festival Internacional de Poesía de Granada in Nicaragua
Published the French version of the poem collection Mountain of Dream [Shanyoumeng]
（Taichung: Morning Star Publishing Inc.，1999）
（Taichung: Taiwan Aborigines Humanities Research Center，1993）
Established in 2016, Walis Nokan Digital Archive was funded by the National Museum of Taiwan Literature and constructed by the digital team at the National Chung Hsing University. With an introduction written by the writer himself, the archive presents the aboriginal writer Walis Nokan’s life and literature development with the technique of Timeline JS and contains detailed information, foreign translations, online reading of his works as well as related audio, video and research sources, showing the significance of the writer’s historical data and digital curating of Taiwanese literature. For online reading, the archive provides both the English and Chinese versions of the works “Ino’s Second Survey on the Spot,” “Atayal,” and “Journey of Mist” with the writer’s oral reading to enrich multi-media interpreting experience.
We would like to express gratitude to the following people who helped construct this archive: Taipei Chinese PEN, Embassy of the Republic of China in Nicaragua, Taiwan Cultural Center in Paris, Indigenous Peoples Cultural Foundation, Tzu Chi Culture and Communication Foundation, Professor Tu Kuo-ching (UC Santa Barbara, USA) Professor Maghiel van Crevel ( Chinese Language and Literature Department, Leiden University, Netherlands), Dr. Wei Yi–Chun ( Department of Sinophone Literatures, National Dong Hwa University) English translators Fran Lee Chieh-Hsi and Howard Shih Hsiung-hao, Mr. Chen Che-Wei, and Mr. Cheng Sheng-Yi. The digital team at NCHU includes Dr. Chiu Kuei-fen, digital assistant Hung Chien-mei, and the web chief-editor Hsu Kuo-ming, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Chinese Literature at NCHU .
All ownership rights, copyright and intellectual property in the materials on this website, including the content, words, sounds, and images, belong to or have been legally approved for use by the National Museum of Taiwan Literature (NMTL). Those seeking to download, copy, change, distribute, publicly release or use the material in any other way must first acquire the consent of NMTL. NMTL reserves all legal rights for unauthorized use.
Meet the team
Consultant: Walis Nokan
Web content editor: Hsu Kuo-ming
Web designer: Yoong Jun-yao , and Hung Chien-mei
English website translator: Fran Lee Chieh-Hsi and Howard Shih Hsiung-hao