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Atayal wedding gown

Tags: aborigine | Atayal | clothing

This wedding gown is of the style of the Atayal tribe currently living in Taian Township of Miaoli County, along the upper reaches of the Daan River. During the Japanese occupation of Taiwan (1895-1945), this area was called painohu by the Atayal, which referred to the flat and expansive riverbed of the Daan River. In the past, this group of Atayal was known for its bravery and fierceness in battle. 

This gown is worn by a bride during the wedding ceremony. Wedding clothes usually featured the favored colors of the Atayal tribe: red, maroon and brown. They also had many types of patterns. This particular gown emphasizes the symmetry between the right and left sides. It also represents the weaving skills of the bride and is a symbol of her entry into womanhood.

This gown is made from 10 pieces of hand woven cloth and two pieces of cotton cloth. The colors used in the warp are white, black, maroon, brown, orange and pink. The colors used in the weft are white, black, maroon, pink, yellow, red, green, violet and blue. Ramie fibers and cotton thread are the main materials. Patterns include straight lines, modified rhombuses, dots, squares and rectangles. The colors that make up the gown include white, black, yellow, maroon, brown, orange, pink, red, green, blue and violet.

This gown is a later period piece. It is thought to have been produced in 1920. It was acquired by a collector in 1970.

Department of Graphic Communications and Digital Publishing, Shih Hsin University Digital archiving project of the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines