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Bronze Knife Handles

Tags: bronzes | knife handle

Acquired by Jen, Shien-min (1956, Chala'abus, Pingtung County) , Collected by Museum of Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

These handles commonly bear the motifs of stylized human figures and/or a continuous row of heads. The handle can be attached to an iron blade approximately 30 centimeters long, serving as heirlooms among noble families. Alternatively the handles can be attached to a dagger, with a blade approximately 15 centimeters long, used by female shaman (bulingau) to scrape pig bones, iron and the leaves of certain plants during ceremonies.
These bronze knife handles are quite rare. The Japanese scholar Kano Tadao believes this type of bronze knife handle is closely related to the Don Song culture of Vietnam. In Taiwan, articles similar to the Paiwan bronze knife handles have been excavated at the Shihsanhang site in Taipei.


Bronze Knife Handles (The left: L=29cm / The right: L=15cm)