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The Brief History of Taiwanese Indigenous Peoples:

They are the indigenous inhabitants of Taiwan, previously called Ilha Formosa, who have lived there for more than 8,000 years before the first arrival of the Han Chinese in the 17th century. The Taiwanese aborigines are Austronesian people who are both ethnically and linguistically related to the peoples of the Marshall Islands, the Philippines, and other Polynesian groups. You might also wanna read more:【Taipei Day Tour】30 Unmissable Things to Do in Taipei in 2024.

Taiwan’s indigenous people are estimated to make up about 2% of the population. Like many indigenous populations around the world, Taiwan’s aboriginal population is slowly declining.

Throughout Taiwan’s complicated history, a variety of tribes have been gradually homogenized and assimilated by Chinese culture and the cultures of previous colonial powers, most notably the Dutch and other Western Christian missionary groups. As a result, their unique cultures and languages are being lost. (Read more: BBC: Tribal Culture survives in Taiwan)

Why not try one of our indigenous tour? Discover Authentic Atayal Culture: 8-Hour Wulai Aboriginal Experience Tour in Taiwan. Participate in workshops to learn traditional crafts, cooking, and music from indigenous artisans. These hands-on experiences are both educational and enjoyable.

Aboriginal style rice

What were Taiwan’s Indigenous people called?

Qing Dynasty

As the Qing Dynasty exerted control over the plains and struggled to enter the mountains in the late 19th century, the terms Pingpu (Plains peoples) and Gaoshan (High Mountain peoples) were labeled as “civilized” and “uncivilized.”

Japanese Occupation Period

During Japanese rule (1895–1945), Japan maintained the binary classification. In 1900, they introduced their own colonial terms: Peipo for the “civilized tribes” and “recognized tribes” for the aborigines who had formerly been called “uncivilized.” The Musha Incident (Wushe Rebellion) of 1930 led to many changes in aboriginal policy, and the Japanese government began referring to them as “Takasago-zoku.”

KMT

During the early period of Chinese Nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) rule, the terms Shandi Tongbao, which means “mountain compatriots,” and Pingdi Tongbao, referring to “plains compatriots,” were introduced. These names were invented to remove the presumed taint of Japanese influence and to reflect the place of Taiwan’s indigenous people in the Chinese Nationalist state. The KMT later adopted the use of all the earlier Japanese groupings except Peipo.

Experience Atayal music

Where do Taiwanese aborigines live today?

Today, Taiwanese aborigines are distributed all over Taiwan, with most living in mountainous areas along the east coast, including regions such as Hualien and Taitung. However, many Taiwanese aborigines have migrated to cities in search of better job opportunities.

Amis 阿美族194,000Hualien & Taitung
Atayal 泰雅族83,000New Taipei, Hualien, Hsinchu & Nantou
Bunun 布農族54,000Nantou, Kaohsiung & east Taiwan
Hla’alua 拉阿魯哇族less than 400inland of Kaohsiung
Kanakanavu 卡那卡那富族550 inland of Kaohsiung
Kavalan 噶瑪蘭族1,300Hualien & Yilan
Paiwan 排灣族93,000Sandimen & Taitung
Pinuyumayan 卑南族12,800Taitung
Rukai 魯凱族12,400Wutai & Taitung
Saisiyat 賽夏族6,200Hsinchu & Miaoli
Sakizaya 撒奇萊雅族less than 700Hualien
Sediq 賽德克族8,100Nantou
Thao 邵族less than 800Sun Moon Lake
Truku 太魯閣族28,000Taroko Gorge
Tsou 鄒族7,000Alishan
Tao (Yami) 達悟族 (雅美族)4,300Orchid Island

Each tribe has its own cultural festivals (ceremonies) and traditional clothes:

Top 5 fun facts about Taiwanese indigenous peoples:

Diverse Tribes:

Taiwan is home to 16 officially recognized indigenous tribes, each with its own distinct language, culture, and traditions. These tribes include the Amis, Atayal, Paiwan, Bunun, and more, showcasing a rich tapestry of cultural diversity.

Tattoo Traditions:

Traditional facial tattoos were once a significant cultural practice among the Atayal and Seediq tribes. These tattoos, often intricate and symbolic, represented social status, bravery, and coming-of-age milestones. While the practice has declined, it remains a powerful symbol of identity and heritage.

Matriarchal Society:

The Amis tribe, one of the largest indigenous groups in Taiwan, traditionally follows a matriarchal system. In this society, women hold significant power in family and community decision-making, and inheritance is passed down through the female line.

Unique Architecture:

The Rukai and Paiwan tribes are known for their traditional stone-slab houses. These structures are built using flat stones and are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, reflecting the tribes’ architectural ingenuity and adaptation to their environment.

Rich Oral Traditions:

Storytelling plays a crucial role in preserving the history and culture of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples. Many tribes have rich oral traditions, passing down myths, legends, and historical accounts through generations. These stories often explain natural phenomena, cultural practices, and the origins of the tribes.

These facts highlight the unique and fascinating aspects of Taiwanese indigenous cultures, making them an essential part of the island’s heritage.

Why not try one of our indigenous tour? Discover Authentic Atayal Culture: 8-Hour Wulai Aboriginal Experience Tour in Taiwan. Participate in workshops to learn traditional crafts, cooking, and music from indigenous artisans. These hands-on experiences are both educational and enjoyable.

And that’s the tea! Follow our YouTube & Instagram & Facebook for more amazing Taiwan. #ExploreTaiwan

Justaiwantour can also customize a private tour for you based on your preference. So don’t hesitate to contact us for a customized tour!

最後修改日期: 6 月 12, 2024

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