中文

The Atayal

Myths and Totems

Shades and Colors:

The color of the cloth used for making garments varies in different regions of Atayal settlement, but the most frequently used hues are blue, yellow, red, plus black and white. Traditionally, the tribe produced their own dye from the stalks, leaves or fruit of plants. In this way, the Atayal made clothing that may have been rather primitive and plain in terms of cut and design, but still managed to attract the eye of the beholder through simple but pleasantly matched bright and dazzling colors.

Shapes and Patterns:

Just as the coloring of the clothes differs from community to community, so does the style of the attire. Every of the numerous sub-tribes has their own totemic figures and shapes in their own unique colors. Even so, the basic patterns are mostly the same: rhombic lines and horizontal stripes in a number of combinations and variations that serve as standard designs for weavers and clothmakers. Among weavers, it is accepted truth that the colored horizontal stripes used to adorn the garments represent the seven colors of the Rainbow Bridge leading to the blessed land where the souls of the dead ancestors reside. Meanwhile, the many rhombic patterns stand for the ancestors’ countless eyes.

Weaving

This is the domain of the women, a traditional craft frequently executed in the following patterns:

  • rhombic patterns
  • Chinese characters
  • ❍ ✕ ❖ patterns