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Headhunting Bag
The headhunting bag was used to store the severed head of the enemy. Once the head had been hunted, the headhunters took it to a safe place and removed its hair, putting a part of it into the bag that held the protective token of the headhunting squad, and dividing the rest among those who performed well on the hunt. Next, the hairless head was washed clean, wrapped with taro leaves or cloth, and finally placed in a headhunting bag. Headhunting bags are usually woven with linen threads and strings, and are square-shaped. Besides holding severed heads, the headhunting bag was also used for carrying everyday objects.

The sample here is made of a triangular net bag covered with red chenille threads, a shoulder strap, and a porcelain button. Bundles of human hair obtained during headhunting missions are attached to the bag.


National Taiwan Museum Digitizing Project of Formosan Aborigines  Collections: the Atayal