List of aboriginal ethnic groups in Taiwan

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Families of Formosan languages before Chinese colonization, per Blust (1999). Malayo-Polynesian (red) may lie within Eastern Formosan (purple). Note that the white section in the northwest of the country does not indicate a complete absence of aboriginal people from that part of Taiwan.
Young residents in the Bunun village of Lona, Taiwan dress up for the traditional Christmas holiday (not an official holiday in Taiwan).

Traditionally, the Taiwanese indigenous peoples are usually classified into two groups by their places of residence. Languages and cultures of aboriginal tribes were recorded by the government of Dutch Formosa, Spanish Formosa and the Qing Empire.

Name Chinese Taiwanese Hakka Japanese (1935–1945)
Mountains indigenous peoples 高山族 Ko-soaⁿ-cho̍k Kô-sân-chhu̍k 高砂族(たかさごぞく, Takasago-zoku)
Plains indigenous peoples 平埔族 Pêⁿ-po͘-cho̍k Phìn-phû-chhu̍k 平埔族(へいほぞく, Heiho-zoku)

Researches on ethnic groups of Taiwanese indigenous peoples started in late 19th century, when Taiwan was under Japanese rule. The Government of Taiwan (臺灣總督府, Taiwan Sōtokufu) conducted large amount of researches and further distinguished the ethnic groups of Taiwanese indigenous peoples by linguistics (see Formosan languages). After the research, the household registration records remarks of "mountains/plains indigenous peoples". The governmental statistics also listed 9 recognized subgroups under mountains indigenous peoples. However, after World War II, the government refused to recognize the plains indigenous peoples.

The following is a list of classifications through Japanese and post World War II. Note that the Japanese names in parentheses does not exist in pre-World War II Japanese demographic researches.

Mountains indigenous peoples[edit]

The Taiwanese government officially recognises 16 ethnic groups of mountains indigenous peoples.

Name Formosan
native name
Chinese
(after 1945)
Japanese
(before 1945)
Notes
Amis Pangcah, 'Amis 阿美族 アミ族 Recognized since Japanese era
Atayal Tayal, Tayan 泰雅族 タイヤル族 Recognized since Japanese era
Bunun Bunun 布農族 ブヌン族、ヴォヌム族 Recognized since Japanese era
Kanakanavu Kanakanavu 卡那卡那富族 カナカナブ族 Classified as Tsou, recognized since 2014
Kavalan Kebalan, Kbaran 噶瑪蘭族 カバラン族 Classified as Amis, recognized since 2002
Paiwan Payuan 排灣族 パイワン族 Recognized since Japanese era
Puyuma Pinuyumayan 卑南族 プユマ族 Recognized since Japanese era
Rukai Drekay 魯凱族 ルカイ族、ツァリセン族 Recognized since Japanese era
Saaroa Hla'alua 拉阿魯哇族 サアロア族 Classified as Tsou, recognized since 2014
Saisiyat Say-Siyat 賽夏族、獅設族 サイシャット族 Recognized since Japanese era
Sakizaya Sakizaya 撒奇萊雅族 (サキザヤ族) Classified as Amis, recognized since 2007
Seediq Seediq 賽德克族 セデック族 Classified as Atayal, recognized since 2008
Taroko Truku 太魯閣族 (タロコ族) Classified as Atayal, recognized since 2004
Thao Thao, Ngan 邵族 サオ族 Classified as Tsou, recognized since 2001
Tsou Cou 鄒族、曹族 ツォウ族、新高族 Recognized since Japanese era
Yami Tao 達悟族、雅美族 ヤミ族 Recognized since Japanese era

Kavalan and Thao are disputed to be part of mountains or plains indigenous peoples.

Plains indigenous peoples[edit]

Cultures of the plains indigenous peoples suffer from heavy Sinicization. This increases the difficulty in identifying ethnic groups.

Name Formosan
native name
Chinese
(after 1945)
Japanese
(before 1945)
Notes
Arikun Arikun 阿立昆族 アリクン族 Sometimes classified as Hoanya
Babuza Babuza, Poavasa 貓霧拺族、巴布薩族 バブザ族
Basay Basay, Basai 巴賽族、馬塞族 (バサイ族) Sometimes classified as Ketagalan
Hoanya Hoanya 洪雅族、和安雅族 ホアニヤ族 Sometimes split into Lloa and Arikun
Kaxabu Kaxabu, Kahapu 噶哈巫族 (カハブ族) Sometimes classified as Pazeh. In revitalization.
Ketagalan Ketagalan 凱達格蘭族 ケタガラン族
Kulon Kulon 龜崙族 (クーロン族)
Lloa Lloa 羅亞族 ロッア族 Sometimes classified Hoanya
Luilang Luilang 雷朗族 ルイラン族 Sometimes classified as Ketagalan
Makatao Makatao, Tao 馬卡道族 マカット族、タッオ族 Sometimes classified as Siraya. Recognized in Pingtung. In revitalization.
Papora Papora, Vupuran 拍瀑拉族、巴布拉族 パポラ族
Pazeh Pazéh, Pazih 巴宰族、巴則海族 パゼッヘ族 In revitalization.
Qauqaut Qauqaut 猴猴族 カウカット族
Siraya Siraya 西拉雅族、希萊耶族 シラヤ族 Recognized in Tainan and Fuli. In revitalization.
Taivoan Taivoan, Taivuan 大武壠族、大滿族 (タイボアン族) Sometimes classified as Siraya. Recognized in Fuli. In revitalization.
Taokas Taokas 道卡斯族、斗葛族、大甲族 タオカス族 In revitalization.

References[edit]

See also[edit]