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  • Ancestral Rules

    1. Political Activities Politically, the community is a polity called miararuma in the Hla’alua language, and it is also the basic unit of rituals. The Chief is the political head called kapitanʉ or rahli. The chieftainship is inherited by the first son, who is attended to and mentored by the elders in the clan until he is capable of leading the community. The kapitanʉ’s power is to manage community affairs, adjudicate disputes among tribespersons, and give commands to punish tribespersons. However, the Chief’s power is not absolute. Most affairs must be approved by the elder’s council called makarikari. Militarily, the maliialualu is the highest command selected by the elder’s council from among great warriors. Religiously, the tribal priest ʉlʉvʉ is the religious leader selected from among the elders. 2. Economic Activities Agriculture, mainly slash-and-burn agriculture, is the major industry of the Hla’alua people. They also engage in collection, fishing, hunting, and animal husbandry. The unique shared farming system called kiakucua has two implications. First, owners of adjacent fields farm the common area together to prevent disputes. Second, from the result of service marriage, shared farming is practiced at the groom’s field designated by the bride. These ways of land use have formed the Hla’alua agricultural tradition. Land is inherited by men. If a family has no man for inheritance, the clan will take over the property for farming by families with excessive labor. 3. Tradition and Clan Organization ◎ A family is the basic social unit called ucani pihlingi. Siblings can form their own families only after parents pass away. The family house is salia. It has thatch stalks and a thatch roof. Monogamy featuring patrilocality was strictly practiced in Hla’alua society, while polygamy or matrilocality was rarely practiced. Influenced by the migration of the Bunun and plains indigenous peoples, however, polygamy or matrilocality has increased (Liu, Pin-Hsiung, 1969:85). In addition to the agreement of the bride and groom, a marriage must be approved by the parents of both parties, who also host the wed

  • Geographic Distribution

    According to the Sediq legend, the Sediq people, as well as so-called Seediq and Sejiq, originated from Pusu Qhuni/RmdaxTasil (the Central Mountain Range), nowadays known as Mudanyan. After migrating from this place of origin, Sediq’s ancestors settled and populated in Deluwan (Truwan, called Plngebung by the Toda subgroup, located in Hezuo Village of Ren’ai Township in Nantou County today). After living in Truku Truwan (Deluwan) for some time, the Sediq people gradually moved out of Deluwan around 18th century due to population growth and space insufficiency. After this migration, different groups adopted different names. The group that migrated to lower Deluwan - Wushe (the mountainous area across from Chunyang today) called themselves Tgdaya. The group that migrated to Tpwqo (Dadebuge), Kbayan (Gubayang), and Browan (Bulowan) across Mt. Qilai called themselves Truku. The group passed through the north peak of Mt. Hehuan to Shangmeiyuan (Zhu Village) called themselves Toda. After migrating to Tgdaya, Toda, and Truku, each subgroup formed individual group identities. Therefore, they distinguished themselves as Seediq Tgdaya, Sediq Toda, and Sejiq Truku. The distribution of each subgroup is as follows: 1. Seediq Tgdaya According to the historic documents of the Qing dynasty and Japanese colonization, the territory of Seediq Tgdaya covered the Wushe (Nantou) and Mugua (Hualien) Communities. Seediq Tgdaya in Nantou: This community was distributed in the Zhuoshui River and Mei River drainage basins between Wushe and Lushan in Ren’ai Township. After the Mushe Incident during Japanese colonization, Seediq Tgdaya people living in the east of Wushe were forced to migrate to the Qingliu and Zhongyuan (Huzhuo Village in Renai Township today) at the midstream of the Beigang River. Those settling deep in the mountain in the east of the Mei River migrated to the river valley around the Nanshan River (Fengjing Village in Ren’ai Township today). Currently, most of them settled in Huzhuo, Nanfeng, and Datung villages in Ren’ai Township, Nantou County. Seediq Tgdaya in Hualien: This community distributed in the Mugua River drainage basin. Due

  • Geographic Distribution

    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 (Ma

  • Culture

    1. Industry The Truku (Taroko) people practiced slash-and-burn agriculture, with major crops including foxtail millet, corn, and sweet potatoes. In addition to agriculture, other economic activities include fishing and hunting. 2. Food To the Truku people, foxtail millet, corn, and sweet potatoes from farming are the staple foods, while the food from fishing and hunting is the non-staple food. 3. Clothing The Truku people prefer white clothes with a variety of diamond patterns. The diamond pattern represents the eye of the ancestral spirit, symbolizing protection. The over sleeves and shell clothes are the characteristics of Truku clothing. The over sleeve embroidered with diamond patterns is worn to protect the hands at work, and the shell clothes and shell skirts are decorated with cylindrical shell ornaments. Shell clothes are the formal clothes of the chief, clan chief, or warrior. 4. Tminun (Weaving) The Truku people make clothes from linen. After spinning and bleaching, the Truku people weave the flax into cloth of different colors, mainly green, red, yellow, black, and white, to make clothes, accessories, and bedding. In the Truku language, weaving is “tminun”, it’s a major work for women in the village. Weaving tools include the loom, clippers, spinning machine, reel, yarning machine, and warping machine. Weaving begins after flax collection, spinning, bleaching, and warping. As it takes quite a while to weave a piece of cloth, most families weave relentlessly. Weaving is very important to women. They must acquire weaving skills before they can have a facial tattoo, get married, pass the rainbow bridge challenge, and reach the homeland of the ancestral spirit. In addition to techniques in making clothes, weaving means maturity and ready for marriage to women, as well being recognized by the community. To Truku women, weaving is an important technique. 5. Patasan (Facial Tattoo) The Patasan (facial tattoo) plays an important role in traditional culture and is the most characteristic body ornamentation. Truku boys and girls can tattoo their faces at age 14 or 15. Girls must pass the elder’s recognition of their weaving tech

  • Geographic Distribution

    It is said that the Truku (Taroko) ancestors arrived in southwestern Taiwan in boats (rowcing, literally driftwood, meaning boat) from South Asia in the prehistorical period. After landing onshore, they settled in the plain area around Taichung to Tainan. Defeated by plain indigenous peoples in a conflict, the Truku people were forced to migrate to the mountain areas in central Taiwan, first from a place called Ayran in the west of Puli and gradually moved toward the mountain areas in the east. Through generations, they have migrated to 17 places. Eventually, they arrived at what is today’s Hezuo Village in Renai Township, Nantou County. The Truku people called this place Deluwan (Trukuo Truwan). It is a platform formed by three river valleys: Ayug Lqsan, Ayug Busi, and Ayug Brayaw. At Trukuo Truwan, the Truku people gradually developed their “collective historical memories” and “communal life experiences”. Deluwan (Trukuo Truwan) is located in what is today’s Hezuo Village in Renai Township, Nantou County, covering three river valleys, known as Tru Ruku (three living places) in the Truku language. After combining the two “ru” sounds, it became the sound “Truku”. After settling in Truwan for a while, some Truku people moved to the platforms around Chunyang Hot Spring in Jingying Village, Renai Township, Nantou County, as the population grew and the farmland and hunting sites were limited. This group of people called themselves Tgdaya (from the upper area Truku Truwan). Another group moved to what is today’s “Pingjing (alang toda) Village” in Jingying Village, Renai Township, Nantou County. This group of Truku people called themselves “Toda” (meaning passing by or the only way). After moving from Truwan to Tgdaya and Toda, Truku people eventually turned into three group identities: Truku, Tgdaya, and Toda. As Truwan is the root, Truku is the common identity of all three subgroups. During the 17th to the 18th century, the Truku (Taroko) people penetrated Qilai Mountain, Nenggao Mountain, and Hehuan Mountain in the Central Mountain Range to Hualien in eastern Taiwan to build

  • Truku Introduction

    The Truku (Taroko) people value their weaving and face tattooing culture, believe in ancestral spirits, and follow gaya, the ancestral rules. The ceremony of ancestral spirits is very important to them. Currently, the Truku people are mainly settled in Xiulin, Wanrong, and Zhuoxi townships in Hualien County, and in Qingfeng, Nanhua, and Fuxing villages in Jian Township. The present Truku population has about 32,333 people (as of January 2020). In 2004, it was officially recognized as one of the Taiwanese indigenous peoples called the Truku people. Truku_1024_太魯閣.jpg

  • Culture

    1. Industry and Food Agriculture and fishery are the major economic activities of the Kavalan (Kebalan) people. Traditional crops include sweet potato, taro, rice, and upland rice. In addition to agricultural products, they collect seaweed and shellfish. Hunting is a male-only activity which takes place from October to March. Before hunting, hunters worship the mountain god with betel nuts, tobacco, wine, and animal giblets to pray for a good catch.Primarily, they hunt for masked palm civets, Formosan sambar deers, and wild boars. When Indian coral trees (Erythrina variegata) begin to bud in spring, the Kavalan people will fix up their fishing boats and gears; and they fish for flying cod from April to September when Indian coral trees begin to blossom. 2. Trade The Kavalan people are good at sailing and trade. Before the 19th century, the Kavalan people living in the Lanyang Plain shipped rice by boat to Keelung and Taipei in the North to trade for supplies; as well as to Hualien Plain in the South to trade for gold Or they sailed to trade for textiles, metal pots, and ornaments with foreign ships. The traces of these trading activities are found in prehistoric archaeological findings. 3. Clothing Traditional Kavalan Men and Women’s Clothes Unique Banana Weaving Technique When missionary George Leslie MacKay spread Christianity to the Lanyang Plain in the late 19th century, he collected some Kavalan traditional clothes, including linen, cotton, wool woven gowns, skirts with pending beads and bells, and headscarves. They are bridal clothing and accessories. These 19th century Kavalan wedding gowns feature diamond, star, twist, and eight-pedal flower knitted (pick and knit technique) patterns in red, blue, and yellow. Currently, traditional Kavalan clothes feature the “square cloth system” for the upper garment. This system refers to clothes made up of two pieces of cloth. The lower garment is wrapped with one piece of cloth, usually black or white. Seniors often wear black. Clothes made with the Kavalan’s unique banana weaving cloth are suitable for men to wear in hot weather. The banana weaving cloth can be used to make accessorie

  • Geographic Distribution

    The Kavalan (formerly Kebalan) people call themselves “kavalan”, meaning mankind living in the plain area, and identify themselves differently from the Atayal people living in the forest. It is said that the earliest Kavalan people came from islands in the South, passed by a place called Sanasai before migrating to Taiwan and settling in the Lanyang Plain. In the early 19th century, they began to migrate to the Hualian and Taitung coastal areas. When the Kavalan people first settled in the Lanyang Plain, there were over 30 communities. In the late 18th century, the Han people began to move to the Lanyang Plain. In the 19th century, the Qing government established an administrative district there called “Kavalan (Kebalan) Prefecture” and implemented the “indigenous land preservation” policy. However, due to socioecological changes, many Kavalan people sailed to the Hualien Plain in the south, forming six communities of different sizes led by Jialiwan (Kaleon) group. By implementing the “mountain cultivation and indigenous amnesty” policy, the Qing government expanded its power to the Hualien Plain, disturbing the life of the Kavalan people. In 1878, the Kavalan people and Sakizaya people launched a resistance against the Qing government. After the “Jialiwan Incident (known as the Lanas na Kabalaen to Kavalan people or the Takubuwa a kawaw to Sakizaya people)”, the power of both ethnic groups reduced significantly, some Kavalan people escaped to the eastern coast or hid themselves with the Amis people. Currently, the Kavalan people are mainly distributed in Qiliban (Kilipan) and Maoliwuhan (Varivuhan) villages of Zhuangwei Township and Jialiyuan (Kaleon), Liuliu (Laulau), and Lizejian (Hedekanan) villages of Wujie Township in Yilan County; Jialiwan (Kaleon) in Jiali (Kaliyawan) Village of Xincheng (Alang paru) Township, and Xinshe (PateRungan) in Xinshe Village, and Lide (Kudis) in Fengbin Village of Fengbin (Bakung) Township in Hualien County; and Sanjiancuo (Sadipongan) in Sanjian Village, Zhangyuan (Kladut) Village, and Dafengfeng (Polo’t, also called Dajianshi) of Changbin (Kakacawan) Township

  • Kavalan Introduction

    The Kavalan (Kebalan) people settled in Yilan for generations, they lived freely over hundreds of years near the river and by the sea and they have sovereignty across the Lanyang Plain. Living along the coast, early Kavalan people lived in stilt houses with strong Southeast Asian characters. They engaged in bartering trade at sea. After the “Lanas na Kabalaen (Jialiwan Incident)” in the late 19th century, they hid among the Amis people for over a century. Currently, the Kavalan population has about 1,492 people (as of January 2020). In recent years, the Kavalan people began name rectification movement and were officially recognized as one of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples called the Kavalan people in 2002. In terms of crafts, the Kavalan people managed to maintain the unique banana fiber weaving techniques. Kavalan_1024_噶瑪蘭族.jpg

  • Geographic Distribution

    The demonym, Thao, meaning “people”, of the Thao people was introduced by Japanese scholars during Japanese colonization. It is said that the ancestors of the Thao people originally settled in Jianan Plain. When entering the Central Mountain Range during hunting, they accidentally found a rare white deer. After chasing it for days to what is today’s Tutingzi (Puzi), the white deer immediately jumped into the Sun Moon Lake. The Thao people stopped and found that it was a fertile place with many fishes, suitable for farming, hunting, and fishing. Therefore, they brought other Thao people to settle there. Lalu (formerly called Guanghua Isle, Zhuzi Isle) is the supreme ancestral spiritual place to the Thao people in the Sun Moon Lake area. In the Qing dynasty, the place was called “Shuishalian”, there were Tou (Shtafari) Village, Shui Village, Maolan Village, Shenlu Village, Pu Village, and Mei Village, collectively they were called the “Shuishalian 6 Villages”. During over 200 years of the Qing dynasty, as the Han immigrants sought land and the government implemented the wilderness cultivation and forest development policies, the original Thao territory was divided and reduced, and their influence in Shuishalian gradually disappeared. During Japanese colonization, some Thao people continued to settle in Ding (tao) Village, Neiaozi Village, Shiyin Village, Shuiwei Village, Shui Village, and Maolan Village. When the area was flooded after the construction of the Sun Moon Lake hydroelectric power plant, the Thao people were forced to migrate to Ita Thao (Barawbaw) Village. In addition, thanks to the colonial government’s tourism promotion, Sun Moon Lake, the Thao tourism and the pounding performance have become one of the “Eight Wonders of Taiwan”. Colonial prohibition was abolished since the R.O.C government took the reign, and many Han people moved and engaged in commerce there, the Han population started to increase . To improve local living quality, the government implemented urban re-zoning in the region in 1983. As a result, more land of the Thao people was split and expropriated for more business gro