Among the arts of the indigenous peoples of Taiwan, human figures represent recent generations of ancestors, while snake figures represent mythic ancestors from origin stories. Both motifs appear on this bin for storing millet, the sacred grain of the Rukai. Family genealogies were memorized and recited in detail with considerable emphasis placed upon the legendary ancestral heroes who founded the lineage.
Source: Gallery text, Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006.
See also: Marla C. Berns, World Arts, Local Lives: The Collections of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, 2014.