Spirits of Orchid Island (2008)

Spirits of Orchid Island

Orchid Island’s jagged volcanic landscape, lush tropical jungles and clear blue waters are home to a unique mix of wildlife of Indo-Pacific and Chinese origin, and to the Tao people, an ocean-going culture with ancient beliefs and deep respect for nature.

Over a thousand kinds of fish and numerous seasnakes populate the island’s coral reefs, while Lanyu Scops Owls, Whistling Green Pigeons and Birdwing butterflies thrive in the forests alongside a host of reptiles, colorful insects and huge spiders. The Tao’s guardianship of both forest and ocean has preserved the island’s wild nature since their ancestors arrived from the Philippines nearly a thousand years ago. To this day, they harvest the sea from painted boats, hand-made from forest timber, and though the Tao’s world is changing fast, many spiritual beliefs and links with nature survive.

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