The magnitude of parental love and the thought that goes into the care and protection of one's newborn will be examined in a special exhibition held by the National Museum of Prehistory from Aug. 8 to March 1, 2015.
Babywearing, or the practice of carrying a young child using a type of carrier, is a centuries-old custom that is common among Austronesian cultures and ethnic minority tribes across the Chinese continent. Babywearing provides easy security and supervision of the child, and allows the carrier to regain mobility and access to both hands.
The exhibition is organized geographically to retrace the early Austronesian diaspora, taking visitors from Taiwan proper to the north of China, off coast to the islands of Borneo and Bali, and to the Siberian lands.
The different climates, lifestyles, values, and aesthetics held by each of these cultures are fully apparent in the collection of baby carriers displayed at the NMP exhibition. For example, the Hmong people from the Chinese mountains up north often include a stiff back section to block the wind, while the Dayaks on Borneo carry their child in beautifully decorated wicker baskets called ba'.
The exhibition includes three main sections — "Timeless, Universal Love,” "Colorful, Diverse Baby Carriers,” and "Shape and Shapeless” — and a fashion corner depicting baby clothes as well as a specialty shop selling creative products.
The first section explores the different childrearing practices of each culture, the second section showcases a wide range of slings and carriers, and the third section presents the research results to questions such as how widespread is the babywearing practice outside of Asia and whether equality has been achieved in modern parenthood.