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The Landscape of Historical MemoryThe Politics of Museums and Memorial Culture in Post-Martial Law Taiwan$
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Kirk A. Denton

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9789888528578

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888528578.001.0001

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Aboriginal Museums and the Construction of a Taiwanese Identity

Aboriginal Museums and the Construction of a Taiwanese Identity

(p.177) 8 Aboriginal Museums and the Construction of a Taiwanese Identity
The Landscape of Historical Memory

Kirk A. Denton

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter analyses exhibitionary spaces dedicated to the aboriginal peoples of Taiwan. The first part of the chapter looks at two museums—the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines (順益台灣原住民博物館‎) and the Ketagalan Culture Center (凱達格蘭文化館‎)—that reflect two different agendas. The first is a private museum opened in 1994 around the personal collection of the Shung Ye Foundation, a philanthropic arm of the Shung Ye Group, a distributor of Mitsubishi products in Taiwan. The second is state-funded and was a pet project of former president Chen Shui-bian. Although the motivations for their founding may be different, both museums project the view that aboriginal cultures are important features of a united multiethnic nation. The second part of the chapter focuses on two theme parks centered on aboriginal cultures, one of which is highly commercialized and the other more academic in orientation. These parks represent simultaneously the commodification and politicization of ethnic cultures.

Keywords:   Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines, Ketagalan Culture Center, Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Culture Park, Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village, political appropriation of aboriginal cultures

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