The Sleeveless Jacket for the Brave, Atayal Tribe
L 38cm × W 38cm, Late 19th Century to Early 20th Century
The Atayal people call the sleeveless short jacket as rattan. And the rattan for the Brave who made a successful headhunting is especially unique in form. It is usually prepared by his family members after the tribal people have learned of a victorious headhunting. They would dress the brave when he arrives in the tribe and receives congratulations from his family and tribesmen. It is thus an important symbol of social status. Its basic form is sleeveless, collarless, symmetric and buttonless, primarily in red color mixed with simple woven lines in white and black, and decorated with white ceramic buttons on the hems and lapel surface. It would be more dignified with decoration of white circular shell pieces, only suiting experienced head-hunting braves or chieftains. Moreover, it can also be a symbol of bravery merely with an ornamental pendant braided from the hunted enemy’s hair stitched to the back of a jacket.