The Pasta’ay, which means the festival of the legendary little people, is a significant ritual held every other year in the Saisiat aborigine group in Taiwan.
From late November to early December in 1936, Utsurikawa Nenozo, professor of Institute of Ethnology, Imperial Taihoku University, guided his assistant Myamoto Nobuto to the Ta-ai ceremony ground in Hsinchu’s Five Finger Mountain area to investigate the Saisiyat ceremony, Pas-taai. With cameras, they documented the lively large-scale sacred events which lasted for days. Through the precious images, the people and
Dead Birds is a film about the Dani, a people dwelling in the Grand Valley of the Baliem high in the mountains of West Papua. When I shot the film in 1961, the Dani had a classic Neolithic culture. They were exceptional in the way they dedicated themselves to an elaborate system of ritual warfare. Neighboring groups, separated by uncultivated