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Sp. 400 Taiwan's Aboriginal Culture Postage Stamps (1999)

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Stamp SN D400
Stamp Name Sp. 400 Taiwan's Aboriginal Culture Postage Stamps (1999)
Stamp Cat Standard Special Stamps
Stamp Cat Society
Issue date 1999-04-22
Suspersion date
Dimension of stamps(mm.) 37 x 29 ( mm )
Size of souvenir Sheet (mm.)
Printer China Color printing Co., Inc, R.O.C.Stamp
Photographer Wang Wei-chang
Creative Director
Sheet composition 18+2Stamp Tags( 5 x 4 )
Print color Colorful
Process Deep etch offset
Paper Phosphorescent stamp paper <br>
Perforation 13
Taiwan's aboriginal peoples were the first settlers of Taiwan, and traces  of their early settlements can be found on mountainsides or next to bodies of water. Each tribe has its own unique culture. The Directorate is has chosen a set of nine postage stamps about the culture of Taiwan's aborigines, with each tribe having a stamp depicting one of its festivals.

All will have denominations of NT$5.00. The stamps, with designs planned by  Taiwan Aborigines Foundation, will be released on April 22, 1999.

Mysterious legends, beautiful songs and dances, and unique rites are part of the dignified and sacred traditional festivals of Taiwan's aboriginal peoples. Apart from passing down tribal cultural legacies and providing a sense of tribal community, these festivals also encourage the young people of the tribes, helping to bolster their confidence and giving them new understanding about their own culture. The themes of the stamps are described below:
(I) Atayal--Ancestor Festival:
After the millet harvest in the summer, the Atayal people gather to dance and sing with bamboo sticks in their hands in order to worship their  ancestors and to pray for a good weather and a bountiful millet harvest.
(II) Saisiat--Festival of the Dwarfs:
This festival commemorates the legendary dwarfs who taught the Saisiat  how to farm. It acknowledges Saisiat gratitude to these dwarfs, as well as  the resentment the dwarfs must feel toward the Saisiat. (According to legend, after learning the dwarfs' farming skills, the Saisiat pushed the dwarfs off a bridge, fearing that the little men desired their women.) The ceremony  starts at night with songs and dances and ends the next morning. This stamp shows an array of "hip bells" used by dancers in the ceremony.
(III) Bunun--Eight-part contrapuntal vocals:
After the sowing ceremony, the Bunun people sing a "millet harvest song," using eight-part contrapuntal vocals, a unique feature of Bunun music  that is famous the world over.
(IV) Tsou--Victory Festival:
During the rule of emperor Kangxi in the Ching Dynasty, the Tsou people were given court robes and silver plates for their assistance in suppressing a revolt. The festival is held once every two years, either in February or August. An occasion to worship the god of heaven and the war god, it serves to instill tribal solidarity.
(V) Rukai-Harvest Festival:
Bakig millet biscuits is an important part of the festival. The Rukai people predict the weather and the amount of rainfall based on the relative moistness or dryness of the baked biscuits. It is held in August every year to welcome the beginning of the next year's agricultural cycle.
(VI) Paiwan--Maleveq (five-year rite):
This "Bamboo Festival" is held once every five years. In it they observe a unique custom of using bamboo rods to stab at rattan balls in the hope of attaining good fortune. The long bamboo poles represent the prayers of the people wishing for safe farming and hunting and good weather. This ceremony also serves to assuage the spirits of the members of the tribe who have drowned.
(VII) Puyunia--Harvest Ceremony:
Millet is the Puyuma's main crop. The tribal shaman conducts the ceremony as they put the harvested millet into storehouses.
(VIII) Ami--Harvest Ceremony
It is held every year in July or August. Apart from its agricultural meaning, it is also the most important social event of a year, and it is  full of the cheerful songs and graceful dances that are characteristic of the Ami.
(IX) Yami--Boat Ceremony:
The Yami people traditionally made their living from the sea, and a fishing boat is considered a man's most important possession. This ceremony celebrates the first launching of a newly carved boat. These are always important events for all of Orchid Island.

(1)First Day Cover in small size to be sold at NT$1.00 apiece.
    First Day Cover in large size to be sold at NT$2.00 apiece.
(2)Folder in large size especially prepared for the stamps to be sold at NT$6.00 apiece.
(3)Folder in large size with crystal mount for better protection of the stamps to be sold at NT$8.00 apiece.
(4)Loose-leaf stamp album page with plastic cover to be sold at NT$16.00 apiece.
(5)Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a low-valued stamp to be sold at NT$6.00 apiece.
(6)Pre-cancelled First Day Cover affixed with a complete set of stamps to be sold at NT$47.00 apiece.
(7)Pictorial to be sold at NT$300.0 apiece and total 50,000 copies to be issued.