The Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines (順益台灣原住民博物館) celebrated its 15th anniversary yesterday. The day was marked by the opening of a special exhibition from Japan. The exhibition contains artifacts from the National Museum of Ethnology in Japan. This marks the first time artifacts from the museum have ever been returned to their country of origin for an exhibition.
In the afternoon speeches were given by Eric Yu (游浩乙), Director of the Shung Ye Museum, Lin Chiang-I (林江義), Deputy Minister of the Council of Indigenous Peoples and the Director of the Japanese Museum of Ethnology. Indigenous students from Xizhi Primary School also performed a short play.
Several Japanese anthropologists made the trip to Taiwan for the opening, but the real guests of honor were three aboriginal elders. A 106 year old Amis woman from Hualian made her first trip ever to Taipei to attend the exhibition opening.
There were also two Atayal women in their nineties with facial tattoos in attendance.
The exhibition titled “Gaze through the centuries ” (百年來的凝視) is made up of artifacts collected by Japanese anthropologists in Taiwan during the Japanese colonial era. It runs until 11 October.
In the evening a celebration was held at the Grand Hotel. It featured lots of singing and dancing by aboriginal people and some special aboriginal foods such as “betel nut flower” (檳榔花) and bamboo tube rice (竹筒飯).
*More photos in the Shung Ye Museum 15th anniversary set at flickr.