Trade ornaments as indicators of social changes in NE Taiwan

Kiwulan in northeastern Taiwan
Wang, L. Y., & Marwick, B. (2020). Trade ornaments as indicators of social changes resulting from indirect effects of colonialism in northeastern Taiwan. Archaeological Research in Asia, 100226.

Long-lasting indirect impacts on Indigenous peoples in the periphery of colonial control are poorly understood, especially in East Asia. Trade ornaments from Kiwulan (1350–1850 CE) in northeastern Taiwan show indirect impacts of European colonial activities on local societies. The diversity of ornaments was greater during the period of European presence compared to previous periods, and their spatial distribution was more clustered in the residential area. The change reflects an increased use of ornaments and an uneven distribution of ornaments in a pericolonial context. This may hint at increased social inequality resulting from European colonial influence. Trade ornaments give insights into the increased social inequality stimulated by a European colonial presence, and show the agency of Indigenous people to incorporate ornaments into their social system.

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