Title: Symbolization, Self-Symbolization and De-symbolization – Exploring the Indigenous Totems in Taiwan
Stream: Cultural Studies
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Yuan Hsun Chuang, China University of Technology, Taiwan
E Leng Ladholoa, China University of Technology, Taiwan
Indigenous totems are cultural heritages that traditionally represent the relationships between and within tribal groups, distinguish the families, and convey certain supernatural power. However, the symbolic meaning of totems, to both indigenous people and the outsiders, is changing over time. It forms indigenous self-identity and, at the same time, a cultural spectacle. There are three sections in this paper. Firstly, indigenous totems are surveyed and discovered on "social-class symbolization" and "religious symbolization". Two aborigines, one in his twenties and another in his fifties, are interviewed and revealed the difference in totems-symbolization between these two generations. In the second part, it is argued that when the "characteristic of aboriginal" is over-expected by society, it might become a demonstration which could be called a sort of "self-symbolization". Aboriginal literary works are taken for example in this section. At last, indigenous artists are introduced and illustrated how they deliberately remove most typical totems in their creations to break the restrictions of symbolization. By reviewing these approaches, intention, and attitude of symbolic presentation, the profound comprehension and appreciation of indigenous totems are allowed to be reinforced with full respect.
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