Paiwan ancestral spirit pillar preserved at NTU museum

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2015/09/12
By: W.T. Chen and Lillian Lin

Taipei, Sept. 12 (CNA) National Taiwan University’s Museum of Anthropology welcomed an 201509120016t0001ancestral spirit pillar from Taiwan’s indigenous Paiwan tribe at a ceremony Saturday simulating a traditional Paiwan wedding.

The ancestral spirit pillar, a giant four-sided wood carving in the shape of a human, was one of the four pillars of the house of a tribal chieftain in a traditional Paiwan village that represented male and female ancestors of the tribe.

A museum spokesman said that based on oral history handed down by tribal seniors, the four-faced figure on the pillar with six fingers on each hand represents a female tribal ancestor known as “Muakai.”

The pillar was once part of the collection of the Taihoku Imperial University, as National Taiwan University (NTU) was known during the Japanese colonial era (1895-1945), and has been held by the university since.    [FULL  STORY]

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