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Paiwan / Twin-cups

The twin cups that the Paiwan used are called “ragal”. When two people drank with the twin cups, they would stand or kneel. One person held a cup with his left hand and the other person held the other cup with his right hand. They held the cups and drank at the same time. Both of the twin cups were made of wood and the shape was unique. The two cups are shaped like diamonds and connected by a stick. Each side has a holder for each person. Because twin cups were mostly used in ceremonies, most of them had delicate carvings and beautiful inlaying. 

This object was carved with the patterns of head and serpent. They belonged to chiefs or noble families. According to Ino’s record, the twin cups carved with the pattern of a human head and a human were mainly used to worship their ancestors and in headhunting ceremonies. These twin cups were made of hard wood. The techniques of making twin cups were not widely known. One group only had two or three people who could master the skills.


Department of Anthropology
National Taiwan University