Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Atayal man

The Atayal, also known as the Tayal and the Tayan, are one tribe of Taiwanese aborigines. In 2014, the Atayal tribe numbered 85,888. This was approximately 15.9% of Taiwan's total indigenous population, making them the third-largest tribal group.
Taiwan is home of a number of Austronesian tribal groups since before 4,000 BC. Genetic analysis however suggests that the different tribes may have different ancestral source populations originating in mainland Asia, and developed in isolation from each other. The Atayal people are believed to have migrated to Taiwan from Southern China or Southeast Asia. Genetic studies have also found similarities between the Atayal and other people in the Philippines and Thailand, and to a lesser extent with south China and Vietnam.The Atayal are genetically distinct from the Amis people who are the largest tribal group in Taiwan, as well as from the Han people, suggesting little mingling between these people.Studies on Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) polymorphisms suggest ancient migrations of two lineages of the various tribes into Taiwan approximately 11,000-26,000 years ago.
The Atayal tribe is also known for using facial tattooing and teeth filing in coming-of-age initiation rituals. The facial tattoo, in Squliq Tayal, is called ptasan. In the past both men and women had to show they can performed a major task association with an adult before they can tattoo their faces. For a man, he had to take the head of an enemy, showing his valor as a hunter to protect and provide for his people, while the women had to be able to weave cloth. A girl would learn to weave when she was about ten or twelve, and she had to master the skill in order to earn her tattoo. Only those with tattoos could marry, and, after death, only those with tattoos could cross the hongu utux, or spirit bridge (the rainbow) to the hereafter.
In the past the tattooing was performed only by female tattooists. The tattooing was performed using a group of needles lashed to a stick called atok tapped into the skin using a hammer called totsin. Black ash would then be rubbed into the skin to create the tattoo. The healing may take up to a month.
The Japanese banned the practice of tattooing in 1930 because of its association with headhunting. With the introduction of Christianity, the practice has declined and it is now rarely seen except on old people even though it is no longer banned. However some young people in recent years have attempted to revive the practice.
Source: Wikipedia
Thanks to Vicky via Postcrossing for this superb Aboriginal man for
my People collection!
Sent: 22 May 2016    Received: 2 June 2016   Travelled: 11 days

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