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Difang

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Biography

Difang Duana (1921–2002) and Igay Duana (1922–2002), Chinese names Kuo Ying-nan (郭英男) and Kuo Hsiu-chu (郭秀珠), were an Amis husband-and-wife folk music duet from Taiwan who specialized in traditional Amis chants. They are internationally known for their performance of a traditional Amis Palang song, alternately called “Weeding and Paddyfield Song No. 1”, “Elders’ Drinking Song”, and “Jubilant Drinking Song”, which was plagiarized by the French government and EMI for the hit single Return to Innocence.

The Duanas’ primary source of income came from farming.

In 1988 Difang and Igay went to France to sing on a tour. They and roughly 30 other aboriginal Taiwanese artists were paid $15 a day for this privilege. Their performances were recorded without their knowledge by the Maison des Cultures du Monde (Institute for World Cultures), part of the French Ministère de L’éducation Nationale (National Education Ministry) and put onto an “anonymous” compilation of “Taiwanese aboriginal songs”. The French government then sold the recording, again without permission or public announcement, to EMI. EMI allowed Enigma to use the recording as a sample track for their song, which was used to promote the 1996 Summer Olympics. After the Taiwanese press identified them they were given a contract with Magic Stone, a subsidiary of indie label Rock Records, the recording company behind Cheer Chen and other popular Taiwanese singers. However, their achievement was only known inside Taiwan; internationally the song was still thought to be Enigma’s work.

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