Taipei, An exhibition that sheds light on the interaction between Taiwan’s ethnic Chinese and its indigenous populations during the Qing Dynasty opened at the National Taiwan Museum on Monday.
The “Once Upon A Time in the Frontiers” exhibition, held until Oct. 4 at the museum’s West Exhibition Hall on the first floor, features 93 exhibitions that include historical books, relics, and maps, including some owned by indigenous people, the museum said in a statement.
The exhibition gives clues and reflects on the interaction and evolution between indigenous Taiwanese and the country’s ethnic Chinese population, exploring the appearance of the country’s inland mountainous and inner mountain border areas during the 18th to 19th century, the museum said.
Mass ethnic Chinese migration to Taiwan started as early as the 17th century during Dutch colonial rule, with successive waves of Chinese immigrants coming throughout the Qing Dynasty and early Republic of China period.
It is believed that ethnic Chinese migration pushed the indigenous people into the mountains, where they became known at the time as the “highland peoples” of Taiwan.
National Taiwan Museum Director Hung Shih-yu (洪世佑) said his museum, established in 1908, has been collecting cultural relics related to indigenous peoples for over 100 years and they provide an understanding of the historical setting of the contact and interaction between ethnic Chinese migrants and indigenous peoples.
“The museum is a place to reflect on history and reproduce culture, and it is also a space to provide perspectives and dialogue between different ethnic groups,” Hung said.
The exhibition also showcases official Qing documents and relics from society at the time where different ethnic groups met and interacted to form “frontier societies,” he said.
At the exhibition’s opening ceremony on Monday, lawmaker Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書) said visitors can reflect on and understand the implications of Taiwan’s history and culture when they visit the exhibition.