【The Story between Robert Swinhoe and Atayal people- Part I 】
Robert Swinhoe was an English naturalist who worked as a Consul in Formosa. He started to visit Taiwan in 1856 and discovered many Southeast Asian birds(especially in Taiwan) and several, such as Swinhoe's Pheasant(A specific bird in Taiwan), are named after him. Robert Swinhoe also researched Taiwanese aboriginal people earlier, and visited headhunting tribes, which were difficult for others to visit, such as: Kebalan, Atayal, Paiwan, and Truku, etc.
Information of Atayal people in the plain of Ilan, Taiwan
(1)the Kebalan officials rewarded for the skull of the Atayal:
Behind the village of Lize Jane had a watchtower made by bamboo, where guards can monitor for the Atayal invaders at night. Cowman will form a team and carry spears to guard the fields around the villages, because the Atayal will come to steal cattle, and then slaughter them to eat. Robert Swinhoe heard from a cowman said that some Aboriginal people lurked near the village several days, and five Han people were killed. But, locals captured an aborigine, and sent him to the Kavalan official for the reward.
Local officials rewarded every aboriginal skull for 12 dollars (about 4 pounds), but later decreased the price into 4 dollars. Robert Swinhoe asked local Han people that he wanted to buy an aboriginal skull for anthropological specimens, and Han's response was they are willing to capture an alive Atayal male for good prices, and let him at his disposal.
In addition, those Han people also sold aboriginal girls for 50 dollars (11.5 pounds). Hence, Atayal girl's official price is 3-9 times higher than the price of the skull of the Atayal male. At that time, the proportion of men and women at the village of the Han immigrants was unbalanced, and the number of Women is much lower than that of men.
Supringly, an Atayal woman are valuable on the meat market.
(2)A female Atayal captive who became concubine of the Han:
In a store on the Lize Jane Street, Robert Swinhoe saw a Atayal girl with tattoos. She was captured by a Battle that the Han attacked the Atayal tribe. He described the woman, with small nose、sharp eyes(not kind of oblique squint eyes with the Mongolia style) and dark skin, has a beautiful aquiline nose. She wore Han costume, being the store owner's concubine, (the owner might purchase her by invaders). As she was shy, she hid him and other Western visitors’ gaze.
【歡迎至原住民文史暨資訊・臉書社團・The Esthetics of Formosan Aborigines Association交流。網址：https://www.facebook.com/groups/1394054007484699/】