Photo of the Day: Facial tattoos of Atayal women

Atayal women wear temporary tattoos to honor tradition at aborigine harvest festival in New Taipei City


TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Young indigenous women from the Atayal (泰雅) tribe are pictured wearing temporary tattoos reminiscent of traditional markings distinctive to their tribe at Taiwan's last harvest festival (Fengnianji, 豐年祭) of the year, held yesterday (Oct. 23) in New Taipei City Plaza.

Joining members of the aborigine community of New Taipei in a friendly dance competition, Atayal women can be seen wearing tattoos on their faces hearkening back to the older generation in which women had to master the skill of weaving before they could received a tattoo and be considered an adult. While men were expected to capture the head of at least one enemy tribe member to earn the right to receive their distinctive tattoo and thus achieve manhood.

Traditionally, the harvest festival is held in the late summer or early fall by Taiwanese indigenous tribes to pray to the ancestral gods to bless the current harvest and to bring future bountiful harvests as well as fertility and successful stock breeding.

Sunday's event was part of a two-day festival which allowed members of different indigenous tribes, who work in New Taipei and missed out on their original harvest in their home towns, to have a chance to celebrate annual ceremony.