Special hand tattooing exhibition in Laiyi Township draws to a close

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Hand tattooing is an integral part of the indigenous Paiwan tribal culture. This exhibition of the unique Paiwan hand tattooing art at Laiyi Indigenous Museum in Pingtung County, which has been facilitated by senior women in the tribe known as VuVus, hopes to keep this fascinating part of the Paiwan culture alive for future generations.

Running since last November - almost 6 months - and set to finish at the end of this month, the exhibition has enjoyed the participation of 13 Paiwan Vuvus in excess of 80 years of age, who have shared their own personal hand-tattoo stories.  

Hand tattoos represent a woman’s social class and standing within the Paiwan tribe and are permitted to be worn only by the tribal aristocracy. In the past, should ordinary people from the Paiwan tribe desire to have a tattoo, they had to exchange precious treasures in order to first gain the approval of the tribal aristocracy. Laiyi Indigenous Museum’s Chen Wen-shan pointed out that from a total of just over thirty remaining seniors with hand tattoos in Taiwan, twenty are located in Laiyi Township.

The hand-tattoo totems, which include sunlight rays, the Chinese moccasin snake and other geometric designs, signify various social classes within the tribe. During the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, hand tattoos were considered uncivilized behavior and therefore tribal Vuvus experienced great discrimination. This was not only a huge distortion of a unique aesthetic element of the Paiwan tribal culture, but also initiated the demise of this wonderful art. 

 

Special hand tattooing exhibition in Laiyi Township draws to a close 

URL:https://www.peopo.org/news/242371

(以下是中文對照)

來義鄉手紋特展即將結束囉

手紋是排灣族重要傳統文化,由於部落手紋VuVu(女性長者,指祖母)逐漸凋零,屏東縣來義鄉文物館,希望透過展覽傳承排灣族特有的手紋文化,從去年11月開展到現在,半年來,由十三名高齡逾八十歲的VuVu到場分享自己的手紋故事,即將在本月底結束、換展。

手紋代表排灣族女性的階級地位,只有貴族才能紋手,平民階級如果想紋手,必須付出珍貴寶物取得貴族的認可。來義鄉文物館策展員陳文山指出,目前全台灣僅存的三十幾位手紋耆老中,來義鄉就有二十名。手紋圖案有太陽光芒、百步蛇、幾何圖形等圖騰,各代表不同的身份地位,日治時期「紋手」被當成為未開化的行為,當時有手紋的VuVu因而被歧視,不僅扭曲部落特有的文化美學,也讓手紋出現斷層。

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Special hand tattooing exhibition in Laiyi Township draws to a close

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