|| Clay pots || Paiwan sword || Woodcarving || Lazurite beads || Rattan weaving ||

Paiwan Culture

Mystery about clay pots

An ancient clay pot is one of the supreme and precious family treasures of Paiwan tribal society; the clay pot is handed down from one generation to the next. Legend has it that a chief was born out of the ancient clay pot; and that a clay pot is a holy relic. There are four types of clay pots: male, female, yinyang, and human-figure pots; the difference is on the line and pattern shown on the pot.

Yinyang pot
A pot with both lines of male (human head and cottonmouth) and female (breast) pots is a yinyang pot. The yinyang pot is the most prized clay pot, it is called Dededan. They are placed in the most holy spot, which is the two sides of middle column, at the chief’s home.

Male pot
The pot with cottonmouth pattern, or lines showing human and cottonmouth, is a male pot.

Female pot
The pot with lines resembling human breast, or a pot with a small round hole underneath is a female pot.

Human-figure pot
This is a pot with lines resembling human figure.

In the Old Village, we found a clay pot left intact in a dilapidated slabstone house. When they moved, they did not take the clay pot with them to the new house, because traditionally, clay pots can not be moved about at will. Mr Sue picked up bones of a hunting dog from the place where pots were placed. Hunting dogs are crucial animals in the tribes. After they died, they were placed beside clay pots, and worshipped. In a dilapidated slabstone house, a damaged clay pot is found. Paiwan tribe is now working hard to rebuild their slabstone house.