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Old 24th June 2011, 08:44 AM   #12
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Berlin-Paris
Posts: 36
Default atayal versus Pingpu

Pity that you did not sell your Pingpu knives to me! This, above, is the only knife of this shape I have.
The same shape do exist for Pingpu, you are right.
In fact, it is the inverse, I think that the Pingpu had these shapes before and some Atayal used them. From sea level to high montains, the direction of the trade makes sense as the blades were imported, no?
Anyway the decoration is very different when considering Atayal's or Pingpu's scabbard. Atayal use abstract drawings, the same one could observe on tatoos, weaving, bambou earring etc when the Pingpu use flowers, chinese words, in brief, sinizised ornements, sometimes coloured. See below; unfortunately I have no other pictures with me, to show examples with the same curved shape as mine, but for Pingpu people.

(These two are not mine. I would love to have themů any tip?)

In the case of my Atayal knife, the decoration is made of crosses, bars, dots they call "eyes" etc (you could see one example in the" Chen-Cheng Ching collection" as far as I remember, or at the University of Taipei)

When we speak about Atayal, we make a generalization and we gather under the same name a variety of villages with different habits, different weaving, different patterns, different rules. For example, headhunting was a practice which required no ID: an Atayal could cut the head of another Atayal, from another village. It would be romantic to consider each tribe as a coherent identity. From Ylan to Mioli, there are many differences and we should try to find out the geographical origin of items when it is possible.
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