I have photographed Aboriginal festivals, everyday Aboriginal village life and shot many assignments on Aboriginal art and artists. I will showcase some of the photos here and link to some assignments and projects. The above photograph is from a recent project photographing all fourteen of Taiwan’s Aboriginal tribes. Other than some reference books my wife owns, I rarely see all 14 tribes compared together. It is a good resource, the Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Culture Park’s performances and clothing are quite authentic and I often refer to these photographs when I want to identify a tribe by their costume.
My favorite festival is the Bunun Malatangia (Bunun Ear-Shooting Festival 布農族射耳祭) held annually around April in Namaxia. Photos from that festival have been well published; they have been used in several China Post newspaper articles, as a banner for the China Post’s Travel section, magazine articles including two covers, on the web and as the cover for Steven Crook’s Bradt Travel Guide, Taiwan. A project of portraits of Aboriginal people in traditional dress at festivals is online here.
A smaller Namaxia Festival is the Kanakanavu Mi Kong Festival held in Takanua. The Kanakanavu are considered part of the Tsou Aboriginal Tribe and this festival is a more intimate look at Aboriginal life.
I’ve never seen the Sakizaya Tribe as I rarely get to the north of Taiwan, so the Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Culture Park in Sandimen is a great place to see all the tribes without going all over Taiwan.
Taiwanese Aboriginal art, like the glass beads of Sandimen, is generally good value and can be a great souvenir from Taiwan. Aboriginal villages are always full of arts and crafts to admire or purchase. Photos of Sandimen Aboriginal Artisans
The Tao, or Dawu, Aboriginal women throw their hair over their heads when they dance. I really need a beach or sea as a background, though.
The Aboriginal children in mountain villages are always willing and appealing subjects.
On assignment for Topics Magazine in Wutai I happened upon the Dawadawang Aboriginal Christian Church where Rukai Aboriginals were preparing for a festival. This girl is eating from an instant noodle package (科學麵 – a common Taiwanese snack) which was casting a beautiful light into her big round Aboriginal eyes.
This somewhat clichéd image of two elderly Bunun Aboriginal women was used for the cover of an ebook — Taiwan Folktales.
Pingpu Aboriginal Night Ceremonies are an interesting blend of Traditional Han Temple festivals and Mountain Aboriginal festivals. I wrote about the Xiaolin Pingpu Night Ceremony and the Liuchonghsi Pingpu Night Ceremony.
Aboriginal Food is a popular topic. This photograph of rats ready to cook has been published in several magazines. More photos and information about Aboriginal food
Tourists in Taiwan often marvel at the exotic food eaten by Taiwanese. Taiwanese marvel at the exotic food eaten by Aboriginals.