One of Taipei’s newer museums -- established in 1994 -- the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines is also the most uniquely Taiwanese. The museum’s collection focuses exclusively on artifacts from Taiwan’s 14 recognized indigenous tribes, remnants of cultures that have largely been subsumed by the Han Chinese.
Taiwan’s first residents began arriving on the island more than 6,000 years ago, and the tastefully presented exhibits at the museum offer a look at the daily lives of these aboriginal peoples by showcasing household objects, clothing, jewelry and religious artifacts. Notable pieces include a Yami wooden boat that originally took three years to build from various types of wood, a collection of valuable Paiwan pottery and a series of Yami weapons once used to exorcise evil spirits.
To help you understand what you’re seeing, you can rent an English audio
guide from the information desk on the first floor. Guided English
tours are sometimes available as well, depending on demand.