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NPM exhibits historical documents from the Qing empire about Taiwanese indigenous peoples

  • Date:2022-03-19
NPM exhibits historical documents from the Qing empire about Taiwanese indigenous peoples

"What Is "Fandz"? Taiwanese Indigenous Peoples in Historical Documents of the Qing Empire (什麼是『番』-清帝國文獻裡的台灣原住民族)," an exhibition that displays a rich collection of historical documents from the Qing Empire, will be held from Mar.19 through Jun. 19 at the Northern Branch of the National Palace Museum (NPM).

In 1683, the 22nd year of the Kangxi emperor’s rule, the nascent Qing dynasty led by the Manchus began its imperial expansion by formally incorporating Taiwan as part of its domain, thereby beginning its control over the island. In ruling Taiwan, the Qing Empire divided the island inhabitants into two categories: "Min" (or "civilians," referring to settlers from China proper) and "Fan" (or "peripherals," the original Taiwanese indigenous peoples). "Fan" was further subdivided into "Shufan (acculturated peripherals)," "Shengfan (uncultivated peripherals)," and "Guihua Shengfan (or Huafan, uncultivated peripherals who became naturalized)."

NPM's collection can be divided into the following general categories: archives, antiquarian books, history books, gazetteers, maps, and "tribute illustrations." Among them are many records and descriptions of Taiwanese indigenous peoples. A few of them have been selected to form an exhibition.

This exhibition, first of all, clarifies the meaning behind the terms "Fan" as well as "Shufan," "Shengfan," and "Guihua Shengfan (Huafan)" in historical documents of the Qing Empire as well as their ideology. Then, the exhibit analyzes these documents of the Qing Empire related to Taiwanese indigenous peoples and shows what were the image and reality of Taiwanese indigenous peoples. Finally, those who took part in reverse writing and collaborative authorship at the time are used to help explain and interpret the contemporary significance of these historical documents.

For more information, please visit NPM's website.