Sep 05, 2011

Taiwan: Museum Displays A Collection Of Seediq Artefacts

A Taiwanese Museum organizes a special exhibition showing items relating to the indigenous Seediq people at the National Taiwan Museum.

Below is an article publish by Taiwan Today

Historical items related to the indigenous Seediq people will go on display in a special exhibition at National Taiwan Museum ahead of the Sept. 9 [island-wide] opening of the film “Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale.”

The movie is about the famous 1930 revolt of the Seediq people against Japanese colonial rule (1895-1945), historically known as the Wushe Uprising.

Running from Sept. 6 to Oct. 30, the exhibition “Land of the Brave—Legacy of Seediq Bale” aims to introduce the essence of Seediq culture to the public, according to the NTM.

On display will be 28 items selected from the NTM’s collection of weapons, costumes, decorations and ceremonial instruments. Of special note are knives used for headhunting and bags to hold heads, as well as shell-decorated clothing of men recognized for their courage.

Curator Wu Pai-lu said the Seediq developed high esteem for bravery and the skills of a warrior due to the need to protect their territory against other groups in their lands stretching across rugged terrain in today’s Nantou, Hualien and Yilan counties, centered around Nantou’s Renai Township.

In traditional Seediq practice, Wu said, facial tattoos were awarded to a man after he had protected the reputation of his group in battle against rival groups, and after death the tattoos allowed him passage across the “rainbow bridge” to the land of the ancestors.

“The Seediq did not hunt heads to get trophies,” Wu said. “Headhunting only took place after negotiations had failed, and a successful hunt meant wrongs against the group had been redressed. Only then could a man be tattooed on the chin, signifying he was an adult, a brave man.”

In this way the organization and conduct of headhunting also embodied the collective sense of honor of the Seediq people, he added.

A large part of the NTM’s Seediq collection consists of men’s items from the Wushe area and dates to the Japanese period, the museum said. (THN)