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MOC pays tribute to late Rukai hand tattoo tradition preserver

  • Date:2024-04-15
Thaulalui Palribulungu

The Rukai people’s hand tattoo tradition preserver Thaulalui Palribulungu (柯梅花) passed away on Apr. 5 at the age of 100. Honoring her contributions, Nian Chen-yu (粘振裕), the Deputy Director General of the Bureau of Cultural Heritage, presented a posthumous certificate of commendation on behalf of the Ministry of Culture (MOC) to Palribulungu’s daughter, Ke Chun-yueh (柯春月), on Apr. 11.


Thaulalui Palribulungu, born in 1923, was officially recognized by the Pingtung County Government on Sept. 15, 2023, as a preserver of the Rukai hand tattoo tradition. The Rukai are one of the indigenous people in Taiwan. In the Rukai community of Laulauzan village in Pingtung, Thaulalui Palribulungu was the sole bearer of this tradition and devoted herself to safeguarding the culture and ethics of her community.


The MOC commended her lifelong dedication to preserving the cultural significance and rituals associated with hand tattoos, which left significant footnotes in Taiwan’s intangible heritage. Inspired by her legacy, the MOC expressed its commitment to continuing support for the transmission of this unique tradition.