Among the Headhunters of Formosa

by Janet B. Montgomery McGovern

E-book US$1.99

Among the Headhunters of Formosa is not only a rare account of Japanese-ruled Taiwan – a time when the country was off-limits to travellers – but also a valuable description of Taiwan’s aboriginal tribes by a daring, globe-trotting American anthropologist. Janet Blair Montgomery McGovern was initially drawn to Taiwan by its great beauty, first seen on a voyage to Japan. After several years in Kyoto teaching English and studying Buddhism, she secured a position at a government school in Taipei, and enjoyed an incredibly action-packed stay in Taiwan from 1916 to 1918.

A light work schedule left McGovern with plenty of time for exploring, and despite obstacles and disapproval from the Japanese officials, she made numerous trips into the mountains. She was a frequent visitor to the Taiya areas of northern Taiwan, and, during school vacations, she traveled further afield, visiting the Ami, Paiwan, and other tribes. In some instances she was the first white woman the aborigines had seen.

Originally published in 1922, Among the Headhunters of Formosa is an exciting and sympathetic account from a real-life, female Indiana Jones.

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