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Facial Tattoo Postage Stamp by Taiwan

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Chunghwa Post has issued a stamp to increase understanding of the culture of facial tattoo, which is gradually disappearing.

The stamp features a tattooed Atayal woman weaving against the background of Dabajian Mountain. The Atayals produce excellent woven goods, and only women who are skilled weavers are entitled to wear facial tattoos.

In the early days of the tribal society of the Atayal, an aboriginal people of Taiwan, decorative facial tattoos were customarily stained on tribal members' faces during solemn rituals. Men tattooed one or more vertical lines on their forehead and chins, whereas women tattooed one or more vertical lines on their foreheads as well as V shapes on their cheeks, extending from their ears to their lips. The traditional Atayal facial tattoo is fraught with social meaning. Apart from being symbols of glory, these tattoos demonstrate tribal identity, convey that their bearers have reached adulthood, and serve as badges of bravery and talent.

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