Paper Presented at the Conference on "Imagined Centers and Diverse Peripheries"（想像的中心與多元的邊陲）, Organized by Institute of Ethnology/Academia Sinica, National Tsinghua University, and University of Virginia. Nankang, Taipei, December 11-13.
Paiwan are an Austronesian-speaking indigenous population of Taiwan. Ethnographically, Paiwan is known for its highly explicit as well as expressive social hierarchical order. However, in-depth examination of ethnographic materials from different Paiwan villages shows that the mythical and historical origins of this hierarchical order are far from homogenous. Inside the house, hierarchy is based on birth order among siblings. Inter-house and intra-village hierarchy exhibit various combinations of principles that include marriage alliance, land ownership, founding of village, personal prowess, ritual domination and display of valuables. This paper explores the articulation of these various hierarchical orders and tries to provide a more comprehensive understanding of Paiwan society.