Taiwanese aborigines are Austronesian peoples, with linguistic and genetic ties to other Austronesian ethnic groups, such as peoples of the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Madagascar, Polynesia, and Oceania. The issue of an ethnic identity unconnected to the Asian mainland has become one thread in the discourse regarding the political status of Taiwan.
The aboriginal people of Taiwan are the original inhabitants of this little island. They number approximately 500,000 (about 2.2% of Taiwan's 23 million people), a proportion similar to that of Australia or Canada.
|Rarely seen these days, the Taiwanese original people wear their traditional outfit mostly only on special occasions, such as weddings and funerals|
Taiwan's original people were independent before the country was invaded by outsiders. Contrary to the propaganda of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the Republic of China (ROC - Taiwan) is only a recent addition to the Chinese Empire, with colonization beginning in 1624. The taiwanese Aborigines armed resistance to outside invaders only ended in the 1930s following the Japanese Imperial Army's suppression of the Wushe uprising by the Sediq Aborigines.(As portraied in the recent Movie "Sediq Bale")
Recent research suggests their ancestors may have been living on the islands for approximately 8,000 years before major Han Chinese immigration began.
|a bride and groom during a traditional wedding|
Today Taiwan's aboriginal people suffer under the same conditions of internal colonialsm that has been inflicted upon aboriginal people around the world in countries such as Australia, Canada, the USA, New Zealand, and elsewhere.
A revival of ethnic pride is expressed in many ways by aborigines, including incorporating elements of their culture into commercially successful pop music. Efforts are under way in indigenous communities to revive traditional cultural practices and preserve their traditional languages. Several aboriginal tribes are becoming extensively involved in the tourism and ecotourism industries to achieve increased economic self-reliance from the state