fbpx

Music and My Journey of Identities: Swasieq, My Hometown

Yaway Mawring

Yaway Mawring

Indigenous Singer-songwriter

「laxi kal lawzi’ maha izyat su’ ‘Tayal. ana yasa si saku’ ngilis.」

In the language of her people, Yaway said, “Do not tell me I am not Atayal, I will cry.” A singer-songwriter, Yaway insists on producing music in the Atayal language, sharing the Indigenous culture and way of life through her music. 

Now, the Atayal language is something she wields with pride. But for Yaway, who only started to learn her mother’s mother tongue after becoming a mother herself, a sense of self-doubt has accompanied her throughout life. Only after facing and accepting this other half of her did she finally find the answers she was looking for.

As the descendant of a “Shaman” in today’s society, how is she to heal the people?
In which language is she to reply when asked, “What Is Your Name?”
And why is it that “The World” her grandmother teaches her about is so different from the world she is taught in school?

Swasieq is Yaway Mawring’s answer.

About The Artist

Yaway Mawring comes from the Swasieq tribe in Miaoli, Taiwan. She writes and sings songs in Atayal, one of the indigenous languages in Taiwan. Growing up in a mixed-race family with her mother being Indigenous, most of her upbringing and education came from her father’s side, the mainstream Han Chinese culture. Undoubtedly, the Atayal language and tradition have always been absent in most of Taiwanese family education. Originally a model, it was not until Yaway married and had children that she began her journey to create music in her mother’s mother tongue. She even went back to school to learn and study the dialect from scratch, as well as going back to the mountains where she and her grandparents used to live when she was a kid, searching for childhood memories and inspiration for life and music creation. 

In 2018, Yaway Mawring released her first album named after her tribe Swasieq. This album documents every little detail of how daily life in the tribe looked like in lyrics and melodies. The following year in 2019, this album earned her the highest acclaim at the 30th Annual Golden Melody Awards, with two awards, Best Indigenous Singer and Best Indigenous Album. In the same year, Yaway, a mother raising two lovely children, continued working hard on her music creation and released her second album ‘laqi’ ‘Tayal (Let’s Sing Together). In this album, her focus is mainly on nursery songs for children, all written and sung in Atayal. She hopes that by using commonly used vocabulary words, she can recreate modern versions of nursery songs for Atayal people. That is to say, this album is meant for education and to leave a cultural legacy for future generations. In 2020, Yaway Mawring released her third album smpi’ Yaway (Yaway’s Dreams). This album combines folklores and ballads with versatile music genres, bringing the traditional Atayal music instrument lubuw (Atayal for Jew’s harp) into the songs, using contemporary music elements to redefine and interpret the authentic soul of the Atayal. 

In the past, Yaway Mawring’s mother had always resisted her learning about Atayal culture. However, it is now common to see them, both mother and daughter, conversing in this dialect. Seeing the effects on her family, Yaway also began teaching Atayal language and culture on Youtube. By doing so, Yaway hopes that more and more of her people, especially the younger generation, can gradually find their way back home and reconnect with their Indigenous identity. 

Yaway Mawring

Yaway Mawring

Indigenous Singer-songwriter

「laxi kal lawzi’ maha izyat su’ ‘Tayal. ana yasa si saku’ ngilis.」

In the language of her people, Yaway said, “Do not tell me I am not Atayal, I will cry.” A singer-songwriter, Yaway insists on producing music in the Atayal language, sharing the Indigenous culture and way of life through her music. 

Now, the Atayal language is something she wields with pride. But for Yaway, who only started to learn her mother’s mother tongue after becoming a mother herself, a sense of self-doubt has accompanied her throughout life. Only after facing and accepting this other half of her did she finally find the answers she was looking for.

As the descendant of a “Shaman” in today’s society, how is she to heal the people?
In which language is she to reply when asked, “What Is Your Name?”
And why is it that “The World” her grandmother teaches her about is so different from the world she is taught in school?

Swasieq is Yaway Mawring’s answer.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Yaway Mawring comes from the Swasieq tribe in Miaoli, Taiwan. She writes and sings songs in Atayal, one of the indigenous languages in Taiwan. Growing up in a mixed-race family with her mother being Indigenous, most of her upbringing and education came from her father’s side, the mainstream Han Chinese culture. Undoubtedly, the Atayal language and tradition have always been absent in most of Taiwanese family education. Originally a model, it was not until Yaway married and had children that she began her journey to create music in her mother’s mother tongue. She even went back to school to learn and study the dialect from scratch, as well as going back to the mountains where she and her grandparents used to live when she was a kid, searching for childhood memories and inspiration for life and music creation. 

In 2018, Yaway Mawring released her first album named after her tribe Swasieq. This album documents every little detail of how daily life in the tribe looked like in lyrics and melodies. The following year in 2019, this album earned her the highest acclaim at the 30th Annual Golden Melody Awards, with two awards, Best Indigenous Singer and Best Indigenous Album. In the same year, Yaway, a mother raising two lovely children, continued working hard on her music creation and released her second album ‘laqi’ ‘Tayal (Let’s Sing Together). In this album, her focus is mainly on nursery songs for children, all written and sung in Atayal. She hopes that by using commonly used vocabulary words, she can recreate modern versions of nursery songs for Atayal people. That is to say, this album is meant for education and to leave a cultural legacy for future generations. In 2020, Yaway Mawring released her third album smpi’ Yaway (Yaway’s Dreams). This album combines folklores and ballads with versatile music genres, bringing the traditional Atayal music instrument lubuw (Atayal for Jew’s harp) into the songs, using contemporary music elements to redefine and interpret the authentic soul of the Atayal. 

In the past, Yaway Mawring’s mother had always resisted her learning about Atayal culture. However, it is now common to see them, both mother and daughter, conversing in this dialect. Seeing the effects on her family, Yaway also began teaching Atayal language and culture on Youtube. By doing so, Yaway hopes that more and more of her people, especially the younger generation, can gradually find their way back home and reconnect with their Indigenous identity. 

Share with your friends

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on print

For a complete festival schedule, please subscribe the calendar or download the pdf.

Google Calendar

Click the icon to add to your Google calendar and receive any updates.

iCal Calendar

Use this url to add to your iCal calendar.
https://bit.ly/3fBzjza

pdf Format

Press the icon to download the complete program schedule.

Join Our Newsletter

For Early Announcements And More

Contact Us

Performance / Vendor / Sponsorship Opportunities

share me

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on print