Paiwan noblesse has the right to display honorable totems that distinguish themselves from Paiwan civilians. Modern gowns have various colors for base cloth; however, only blue and black are usually used in traditional gowns. For this piece, some woven geometric figures in the form of a rhombus are sewn on the wristbands and collar, including the aluminum beads and a copper chain, as well as the five buttons with Ruyi*(see note 1) shaped frogs*(see note 2) on the overlapping part. (Translated by Sunnia Kao)
The Paiwan have a very strict social hierarchy system. The noble family were conferred the right to use exquisite decorative patterns, including those depicting the venerated snake, human head, human figure and the sun. These were used to distinguish between members of the tribal nobility and commoners and as such were imbued with a powerful social function. Decorative work flourishes for clothing included in-weaving, embroidery, bead work and applique. Traditional clothing was mainly blue and black in base color, whereas more modern ones can be a multitude of different colors; red, yellow, purple etc. (Text by Pai Lu Wu, translation by Chao Ling Kuo)
Note 1, Ruyi: With appearance like an undulation or ocean wave shape, Ruyi, the symbol of good luck, means gratifying and satisfactory to expect things to turn out as one wishes.
Note 2, frogs: Frog (Chinese Pankou) is an ornamental braid which fastens the collar to overlapping part of Chinese garment with a button and a loop.