Below-Waist Accessories for Taiwanese Aboriginal Clothing
Below-waist accessories for aboriginal clothing can be categorized into waist (hip) accessories and leg accessories. The waist accessories include belts, waist bands, waist bells, waist knifes and front covering cloth. Many aboriginal tribes in Taiwan did not wear pants; simply wrapping a piece of cloth around the waist and then having a front covering cloth.
For the Saisiat Tribe, waist bells stand out amongst all waist accessories. Waist bells are also called tabaa`sang; meaning “it rings when you move”. These are wrapped around the waist and then making loud ringing sounds when dancing. These waist bells were the most important musical instrument for the Pass-taai Festival (festival for the short people).
Leg accessories include leggings, shell-bead strings, glass-bead strings and bells. Leggings are also called the cloth that protects legs, and were mainly wrapped around calves for both males and females.
Rukai cloth boots | Tribal Name: DUKABE | Female garment. Traditionally, the Rukai Tribe placed many restrictions on females. These restrictions are evident in the clothing. The female body was covered as much as possible, including the feet. Cloth boots were worn as an alternative to wrapping calves with cloth.
Tao (Yami) Belt | Tribal Name: paid | Women in charge of weaving will wrap the belt around the waist, and place the two ends of the string on the two ends of the fabric roll, and weave by tightening and loosening the warp. Content Description: When weaving, women sit on the floor, stretch both legs straight out against the “pakedked so cinon” (pedestal), and strap the belt around the waist, place the two ends of the string on the two ends of the fabric roll, and weave by tightening and loosening the warp.
Paiwan male waist band | Tribal Name: lunaning na uqaljai | Paiwan males are used to wearing skirts to cover the lower part of the body; therefore, the waist band is used to tightly wrap the pantskirt around the waist.
Amis leggings | Tribal Name: pacinoken | Recently, people of the Amis tribe usually wear leggings more for ritual purposes. Leggings were worn in the past to protect legs from being cut when working. However this is no longer the practice. Originally made from leather, leggings are now made with exquisite embroidery on fabric as part of the ritual clothing in today’s society. For the males, the leggings extend all the way from the calves up to the waist and are commonly known as pants that open in the back. Women’s leggings only go up to the calves. Traditionally men may start wearing leggings when they reach adolescence, while women must start wearing leggings when reaching adolescence. Formerly, leggings are worn to protect the legs when working; therefore they should be made from animal skin. More recently, they are usually decorated with embroidery, becoming an essential element of Amis traditional clothing.