Amis Mikilita (Steamer)

Tags: aborigine | Amis | utensil

The Amis mostly produced pottery for everyday use such as water containers, pots for cooking, steamers and bowls, etc. Pottery making was strictly the work of women and was accomplished via a four-step process that involved obtaining the clay, mixing it with water to the proper consistency, forming the object and firing.


This pottery vessel is shaped somewhat like a calabash or bottle gourd and measures 21 centimeters horizontally and 24 centimeters vertically. It was very common among the Amis and was used to steam food. Referred to as “tatolonan” in the Amis language it was made by stacking two pots, one on top of the other. Small holes were made with a twig in the center. This steamer possesses 17 such holes. Water that was to be boiled was added via these holes. The food to be steamed was placed on top of taro root leaves. This type of steamer was used to cook rice-based dishes.


Department of Graphic Communications and Digital Publishing, Shih Hsin University Digital archiving project of the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines