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The Cou Tribe

The Cou are one of the Taiwanese aboriginal tribes who live in the mountains of Taiwan, and one of our classmates is a member of this tribe.

The costumes and accessories of the Cou

Cou people use things they can find in the mountains to make their costumes and accessories. Men's costumes are mostly made of the furs of wild animals. They also wear fur hats with feathers in them. Both men and women wear clothes made of cotton. Hats, vests, shawls, sleeves, pants, shoes, and stomach protectors are also made of deer skin. They are embroidered with geometric figures in red and black.

Girls' Undergarment


Undergarment protects the abdomen.

Boys' Undergarment

Boys' Undergarment

Chieftain¡¦s Costume.

Boys' Top

Girl¡¦s leg wrappings

Girls' skirt

The most notable characteristic of the Cou men is that they hang long feathers at the back of their deer-skinned hats. It symbolizes courage, status, responsibility and purpose. But only the grown men can wear them.
The grown men usually wear belts that are about seven centimeters wide. They call for the spirit by fastening the belts and therefore they become more courageous.

Fur clothing


On Ordinary days:

Men wear red and black clothes, and hang sashes with seashells on their chests. Men¡¦s headdress is decorated with feathers. Women wear red, blue and black clothes.

Girls' clothes


At Grand Celebrations:

At the victory celebration every February and August, men wear red clothes. At this time, with metal decorations and multicolored spheres on them, women's hats are conspicuous.

On other occasions:

The chiefs of the warriors add a red sash about six centimeters wide to their hats, which can be decorated with jewelry or seashells.

The hunters use ornaments with wild pigs' teeth on their arms.
The knife is the main weapon.

The fur cap symbolizes two things ¡V one, maturity and the other, responsibility and freedom of choice.

Nowadays, progress has changed Taiwanese culture. This old tribe has to adjust their living style to fit into the new environment. They have to make their own decisions about the future of their culture. After all, tradition and progress should co-exist.

The Cou is one of the aboriginal tribes in Taiwan. It's also representative of aboriginal culture in Taiwan. We sincerely hope you learned more about this area of Taiwanese culture by looking at these costumes.


Contributions sent by Class Qin (2003-4),
Zhongshan Girls' Senior High School, Taipei, Taiwan
Coordinator teacher: Rainbow Chen

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