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Glass Bead Necklace (Paiwan, Taiwan)

Tags: aborigine | accessory | Paiwan

Acquired by Jen, Shien-min (1958, Taiwu Township, Pingtung County), Collected by Museum of Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica

Paiwan multi-colored beads are commonly referred to as “veluriyam beads” in Chinese literature. They are actually glass beads. There are small, single-colored beads and larger, multicolored beads, the later are high in lead content but contain no barium.
Multi-colored beads were introduced into Paiwan society through trade or other forms of exchange. Through the ages, they were attributed with cultural meanings that were uniquely Paiwan. The Paiwan aristocracy then claimed exclusive right to such beads, and turned them into heirlooms. These beads circulate among Paiwan aristocratic houses by inheritance, by marriage and as compensation. 

Circumference: 82cm