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Atayal Men's shirt

Tags: aborigine | Atayal | clothing

Traditionally, the clothing of Taiwan’s indigenous tribes was very simple in shape and form. Cloth was woven in rectangular shapes. Two pieces of cloth were sown together. Then, the two sides were folded over. Seams were made down the sides with suitable openings left for the arms to go through. Usually such shirts did not have buttons as closures. Instead, pieces of yarn were twisted together and placed on either side of the opening and could be tied together. This type of shirt was sleeveless and collarless and reached to just above the waist. There were three types of shirts: sleeveless short shirts; sleeved short shirts and ramie short shirts. The first two types featured woven patterns and were worn on formal occasions. The ramie short shirts were plain and were considered work clothes. 

This shirt is made from two pieces of cloth and measures about 85 centimeters in length and 20 centimeters in width. It is woven with white ramie thread as the background with multiple colors of yarn to complete the woven patterns. Red yarn was used for the sewing and the seams measure about 40 centimeters in length. The openings for the arms measure about 18 centimeters each. The patterns on the front include straight lines and triangles . On the back are straight lines and triangles, as well as rhombuses and squares. There are 303 white plastic buttons that are used as decoration. Part of the warp uses white hemp, while the weft consists of white, red, black, pink, green and blue.

A sleeveless woven shirt was formal attire for a man and women were not allowed to wear such clothing. In general, this type of shirt could be worn on almost any social occasion.

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