label r shifted
Session C8
Gender and Christianity among the Austronesian-speaking Amis of Taiwan
葉淑綾 Shu-Ling Yeh
Department of Public and Cultural Affairs, National Taitung University, Taiwan

Since the advent of the Catholic Church more than half a century ago, Church activities and Church women’s groupings have become indispensable to the daily life of the Amis. From the development and activities of the Catholic Church in Cidatayay village, we can see that maternal images and metaphors are stressed in the confluence between introduced global Christianity and indigenous matrifocal kinship. The notions of maternal connection are further illustrated in the formal organization of the local women’s groups. In addition, in the urban contexts, the conspicuous image of Mother Mary and the collective energies of local impassioned women are expressed in the large-scale Amis Catholic fiesta tied to “the Love Feast: Folk Culture Activities” and “the Assumption of the Blessed Mother Mary and Catholic Aboriginal Day”.

In this study, I will bring together analyses of gender and Christianity among the Amis to interrogate the ways in which Catholic practices and social life become gendered in various ways. How Christianity affects the lives of male and female Amis Catholics, the ways in which Catholic conceptualizations of gender play out, and the gendered dynamic of Catholic doctrine and practice will also be analyzed in this study. Through investigating the ritual and daily practices of the Amis Catholics, I will look at the ways in which Catholicism change the symbolic system of gender of the Amis. The relationship between Christianity and gender dynamics among the Amis will also be understood in the wider politico-economic contexts.