Bringing Atayal Weaving and Hunting Materials Home: An Innovative and Collaborative Exhibition by the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica and An Atayal Community in Northeastern Taiwan
Paper short abstract:
In this paper, I draw upon the experience of a one-year collaborative project between the Museum of the Institute of Ethnology (IOE), Academia Sinica, Taiwan and local Atayal communities, which aimed to reconstruct the cultural interpretation of the 'returned' cultural treasures.
Paper long abstract:
Among the most significant cultural objects in the Museum of the Institute of Ethnology (IOE), Academia Sinica, Taiwan are a number of Beaded Shell Clothes, Bamboo Baskets and Wooden Spears which once belonged to Atayal communities in Nan-Ao Township, Northeastern Taiwan. In this paper, I draw upon the experience of a one-year collaborative project between IOE and these Atayal communities, which aimed to reconstruct the cultural interpretation of the 'returned' cultural treasures. The author locates IOE's collaborative project within the framework of Han-Chinese relations with indigenous peoples such as the Atayal. This project involves leveraging a collection of 32 'lent' Atayal materials, which results in a collaborative exhibition involving the old and young generations of local Atayal people and allowing them to reconnect with past times and places—including their earlier migration history, the later stage of the rule of the Qing Dynasty (1683-1895) and the period of Japanese colonisation (1895-1945). The author will demonstrate that this collaborative exhibition project is attracting a number of other indigenous communities across Taiwan, with implications for policy initiatives aimed at promoting 'Bring the Cultural Treasures of Austronesian People in Taiwan Home' as a key subject integrated into the administrative and educational system of Taiwan. The case study is very much a success story.
Museums in transformation: linking places and people through migratory objects