Taiwan had long been inhabited by the Austronesian Linguistic Family before the Han Chinese moved here on a large scale. The Austronesian Linguistic Family belongs to Malay race, the most widely spread ethnic group in the world. The range starts from Madagascar in Southeast Africa across the Indian Ocean to Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean and from Taiwan in the north to New Zealand in the south. Taiwan is the northernmost part of where the Austronesian Linguistic Family is living.
The Austronesian Linguistic Family living in Taiwan can be divided into the Indigenous Peoples and other minor Plains Indigenous Peoples. Among the former, there are 16 indigenous groups, most of which have their own language, customs and tribal structures but are also facing problems of rapid modernization. Many of the Plains Indigenous Peoples have lost their original language and customs, and it is urgent to strengthen their revitalization of language and culture.