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Sakizaya

The Sakizaya society is characterized by matrilocality and the age class system. The former maintains family relationships and the latter is linked to male social relationships. Exogamy began during the Japanese colonization when more Sakizaya people married the Amis people. In recent years, contacts with Han people have also increased.

1. Matrilocality

The crimson top and the dusty gold vest represents lineage continuation and homeland protection carried out by women. The early Sakizaya society was characterized by matrilocality. The groom prepared wood as fuel for the bride before marriage. After approval from parents on both sides, the groom will move into the bride’s home. Before the Japanese colonization, i.e. the 20th century, exogamy was practiced within the Sakizaya society. After Japanese colonization, exogamy with Amis people began. After the 1980s when contacts with other ethnic groups gradually increased due to overall socioeconomic transformation, exogamy with Han people also increased.

2. Age Class System

Sakizaya men are classified by age into child, youth, adult, and elderly classes. At the youth age, they become members of the youth class, and are responsible for defense, industrial and labor works. They also play important roles in rituals. Before they turn 15, they all are wawa (children). At the age of 13, they enter the youth preparation stage to receive trainings before they become the youth class. They move to the youth assembly hall and take orders and receive trainings from the senior classes. After they become members of the age class, they will be promoted in organized orders by age from grade 9 to 12. The grade they are promoted to is determined by the chief, elders, and youth leaders through discussions. The promotion is confirmed after worshipping the creation god Malataw. The cyclic system applies to the names of the age classes. Currently, the class age system is still practiced in the Sakul, Maibul, Kaluluan, and Ciwidian villages. The Sakizaya age class system is based on a 8-year progression system; from the age of 13 to 77, each class has a name and its roles.