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Born Weavers: Kavalan (Kebalan)

  • PostDate:2021-10-15

Born Weavers: Kavalan (Kebalan)

The Kavalan originally lived on the Lanyang Plain but under pressure from the Han Chinese settlers, migrated south to Qilai Plain. After the Karewan Incident in 1878, the Kavalan were forced to hide among the Amis.

Cultural Features

The Kavalan are a matrilineal society, where all shamans are women and leaders are chosen through elections. A new year is marked by the flowering of tiger’s claw trees for the Kavalan, who also produce unique “banana cloth” made from banana fibers woven with special rare techniques.


Among Kavalan celebrations, the most distinctive is kisaiiz, a ceremony where shamans cure diseases and women become new shamans. Sea rituals are for thanking the sea and gods for their blessings; palinin involves ancestral worship during New Year’s, and there is also a blessing tradition when granaries are filled after harvest.