“The Formosan Encounter—Notes on Formosa’s Aboriginal Society: A Selection of Documents from Dutch Archival Sources” Vol. III was published by the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines. It is the third in a series of collections of Dutch documents during the period of Taiwan’s territorial rule by the Dutch East India Company from 1624 to 1662. This volume details the time from 1646 to 1654.
Documents have been transcribed in the Dutch language with English translations by a team from Leiden University in the Netherlands.
Taiwan’s indigenous peoples enjoyed a rich oral tradition, but their languages had no written text. Thus, written accounts serve as important ethnographical data.
The bulk of the documents in this collection is from the General State Archives in The Hague, and include correspondence with the Governor and Council of Taiwan with the High Government at Batavia (the Company’s headquarters in Asia), which in turn reported to the Company directors in the Netherlands. The Zeelandia Castle (the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company in Taiwan) Diary entries are also included, as well as observations by Dutch Reformed Church clerics and missionaries.
This museum is located in Taipei City, across from the world famous National Palace Museum. It opened in 1994, and remains the only private museum completely devoted to the display and preservation of Taiwan’s indigenous artifacts and traditional objects, as well as to the education and dissemination of information regarding Taiwan’s indigenous culture.
The permanent exhibition areas of the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines include units on traditional music and musical instruments, arts, clothing, dwellings, ceremonies and weaponry. In addition, its special exhibition gallery features displays related to a diversity of topics, such as indigenous issues and protests, contemporary indigenous arts, tribal history and the official tribal recognition process.