According to the Sakizaya legend, ancestors of this ethnic group settled in the Hualien Plain after migrating to eastern Taiwan from overseas. Their name appeared in the Dutch and Spanish records in the 17th century. When the Qing government began cultivating eastern Taiwan and the mountain area aggressively in the late 19th century, the officials and troops were rude and unreasonable and treated the Sakizaya people unfairly, disturbing the life of local indigenous peoples. In 1878, the Sakizaya people defended themselves against the Qing troops in collaboration with the Kavalan people. The resistance is called the Takubuwa Incident (Takubuwa a kawaw to Sakizaya people and Jialiwan Incident or Lanas na Kabalaen to Kebalan people). After the incident, the Sakizaya people were injured and killed, the community migrated, and the language and culture were hidden for 100 years, severely impacting the Sakizaya cultural heritage. After the incident, the Sakizaya people were separated, migrated, and remained silent for 100 years. As many of them have lived and interacted closely with the Amis people, the subjective culture of the Sakizaya people has become gradually indistinct.
When Japanese colonization began at the turn to the 20th century, anthropologists considered the Sakizaya social and cultural characteristics as part of the Amis culture. In the late 20th century, the Sakizaya people finally sorted out their own cultural characteristics through history. Apart from demonstrating their cultural characteristics in ethnic attire and the fire god ritual, they implemented the cultural revitalization movement out of ethnic self-awareness. In 2007, the government recognized the Sakizaya as one of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples. Starting from the Hualian Plain, the Sakizaya people migrated outside the plain to the East Rifted Valley and coastal area due to the rapid social environmental change from regime change after the Takubuwa Incident.
Today, most Sakizaya people have settled in Beipu (Hupú) Community in Xincheng Township of Hualien County; Guofu Village (Kasyusyuan), Cupú Community, Pazik Community, and Sakul Community in Hualien City; Maliyun (Maibul) Tribe in Ruishui Township; Yuemei (Ápalu) and Shuilian (Ciwidian) Community in Shofeng Township; Shanxing (Cilakayan) Community in Fenglin Township; Jiqi (Kaluluan) Community in Fengbin Township of Hualien County. Due to the change in socioeconomic in recent years, many tribespeople have migrated to the Taipei metropolitan area.