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Sakizaya people

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The Sakizaya native name: Sakuzaya, literally "real man"; Chinese: 撒奇萊雅族; pinyin: Sāqíláiyǎ; occasionally Sakiraya or Sakidaya are Taiwanese Aborigines with a population of approximately 5,000–10,000 They primarily live in the cities/counties of Keelung, Taoyuan City, and New Taipei, as well as on Hualien formerly known as Kiray, where their culture is centered

The Sakizaya are an Austronesian people, mostly related to other Taiwanese Aborigines and have cultural, linguistic, and genetic ties to other Austronesian ethnic groups, such as those from the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Madagascar, and Oceania Though their language is their most defining feature; it has not been recognized as a "true language" but simply a dialect of Amis, even though the languages are not grammatically similar

The Sakizaya traditionally practiced ancestor worship, which includes the worship of a pantheon of gods and ancestral spirits However, most have converted to Christianity Their society is mostly matrilinear, and women often have the authority On January 17, 2007, the Taiwan government recognized the community as a distinct ethnic group Before this, the people was previously classified as Amis, the group where they "hid" after they, and their Kavalan allies, fought a devastating battle against Qing invaders during the late 19th century

Contents

  • 1 History
    • 11 Early history
    • 12 Colonial era
    • 13 Karewan Incident
    • 14 Modern times
  • 2 Language
  • 3 Religion
    • 31 Ancestor worship/animism
      • 311 Dito
      • 312 Gods and rituals
    • 32 Christianity
  • 4 Society and culture
    • 41 Age-class systems
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References

Historyedit

Due to their intermingling within other peoples, the original genetic identity of the Sakizaya is uncertain According to one study, they are intimately related to the Northern and Middle Amis2 They also seem to share certain genetic traits with other indigenous groups, as well as with the Taiwanese Han, though this may have been a result of intermarriage The C2 and C3 haplogroups are absent in their population

Early historyedit

Much of the history of the Sakizaya is unknown It is unclear when the Sakizaya, or their ancestors, first arrived in Taiwan According to some experts, the first human inhabitants of the island arrived 15,000 years ago and were dependent on marine life for survival3 Neolithic peoples began arriving 6,000 years ago, which allowed the advent of agriculture, domestic animals, polished stone adzes, and pottery3 The presence of these adzes imply a relation with the Penghu islands, where these objects are common3

Taiwanese Aborigines

Hunting Deer 捕鹿, 1746
General information
  • Total population
2014: 533,6004
  • Homelands in Taiwan
    • Mountainous terrain running in five ranges from the northern to the southern tip of the island
    • Narrow eastern plains
    • Orchid Island Lán Yǔ
  • Languages
14 living Formosan languages Several of these are endangered or moribund Tribes Gaoshan and Pingpu
  • With rare exceptions, the living languages and recognized tribes are of the Gaoshan highland tribes, who reside in the first two of the three regions given above The extinct languages and unrecognized tribes are generally of the Pingpu lowland, who formerly resided in the western plains region The Tao people or Yami reside on Orchid Island, are a recognized tribe and speak a living albeit endangered language


Colonial eraedit

The first contact with the community outside of Formosa occurred during the 17th century, when the Dutch and the Spanish arrived5 It was during this time when a 1636 Spanish document was written about the name and activities of the people6 Since then, there were not any reports of external contact until the 19th century

Karewan Incidentedit

In 1878, the Sakizaya, and their Kavalan allies, fought a devastating battle against Qing invaders7 This event ended in disaster for the both communities causing many of their members to be slaughtered in an event called the "Takobowan Incident"5 also known as the “Galeewan Incident”8 or “Kalyawan Battle”2 Others were displaced by Han settlers8 The remaining Sakizaya, meanwhile, were forced to blend with other peoples, such as the Ami, with the intention of protecting their identity1

When the Japanese ruled Taiwan in 1895, anthropologists classified the people as a subgroup of the Amis9 The people, however, discreetly maintained their own culture and language which continued during the next century1

Modern timesedit

In 2004, the community presented a petition for official ethnic group status to the Council of Indigenous Peoples based on historical, linguistic and cultural data10 This was officially filed on October 13, 200511 Eventually, the petition was approved on January 17, 2007, recognizing them as a distinct ethnic group1012

Like other Taiwanese Aborigines, the Sakizaya face contemporary social and economic challenges13 These include urbanization of the youth, a phenomenon that may affect their culture14

Languageedit

The Sakizaya speak a language classified as a dialect of Nataoran Amis,1516 a Formosan language that belongs to the Austronesian language family15 However, the National Chengchi University has stated that it remains 60–70 percent different from the Amis language despite the two groups living together6 Currently, there are about 2,000 speakers of the language6

The people also speaks several other languages These include languages spoken by the peoples where they have hidden such as Amis,6 and Mandarin, the official language of the country17

Religionedit

The Sakizaya practice a variety of religions These include traditional beliefs that mixes aspects of ancestor worship and animism18 Some may also practice Christianity19

The traditional religious beliefs of the Sakizaya are currently experiencing external pressures since many of the tribesmen may have converted to Christianity19 The threat is heightened by the increasing importance of Christianity to the community19

Ancestor worship/animismedit

Ditoedit

The people are known to practice ancestor worship6 They believe on a pantheon of ancestral spirits and deities known as dito, similar to the kawas of the Amis,18 as well as the anito of the Filipinos They are considered to be "fickle as the weather"18 so priests or mapalaway are necessary to communicate with them18 They are invisible to most people though they are known to wear red18 Several beliefs are associated with these spirits, such as pregnancy and death18 The homeland of the dito is Meilun Mountain in Hualien, which is also the place where the deceased pass through before finally resting in the sea18

Gods and ritualsedit

The Sakizaya have several gods A few examples include Malataw‧Otoki, the deity the spirit of the world, Olipong, the god that "drives away illnesses", and Talaman or Takonawan, the god of the poor18 An individual's personal dito become the god of death once they have died18

Rituals are practiced to appease the dito18 and often mimic rituals performed by other Austronesian peoples20 The practice of these are dictated according to the seasons: spring or pasavaan, summer or ralod, fall or sadinsing, and winter or kasinawan20 An example of these is the Palamal or the "Worship of the Fire God"5

According to a Japanese document, several rituals are associated with the main staples, millet or havay and dry rice or tipus20 These included the "Millet Sowing Ritual", "Fishing Ritual", "Collecting Ritual", "Harvest Ritual", and "Storing Ritual", which are all based on the growth of the millet20

Christianityedit

Another religion practiced by some Sakizaya is Christianity The religion first arrived in Formosa during the age of European colonization Its formal arrival occurred in 1627, during the arrival of Georgius Candidius, the first ordained minister to set foot on the island21 According to this missionary, the conversion of the natives was effective21 The conversion was so successful that native clergymen soon became a necessity21 This success, however, was short-lived since Christians faced persecution after the arrival of the Chinese21 It was not until late in the 20th century when this religion began to achieve its resurgence19

Currently, almost 70 percent of Taiwanese Aborigines practice Christianity,19 though the exact number of Sakizaya practicing this religion is uncertain The religion has become effective in maintaining social unity,19 which has been held by traditional practices

Society and cultureedit

Only a few aspects of the Sakizaya's society and culture have been revealed It is known that they have a matrilinear society Women often have the authority in the household14

In terms of survival, fishing and hunting are important14 Rice cultivation also forms a significant aspect of their food production This practice is thought to have been acquired through the Kavalan14 Millet is important as a food source and as a way in determining the occasions of festivals14

Golden robes are usually worn by important community leaders during special celebrations5 Headhunting was once prevalent22 but has fallen out of practice23

The culture of the Sakizaya is under threat due to the small but steady urbanization of Sakizaya youth14 Efforts to preserve their culture have been initiated by the government,24 which believes this could be beneficial to ecotourism24

Age-class systemsedit

According to Japanese researchers, Sakizaya men are divided into age-class systems, known as sral, where they stay for about five years14 Between infancy and 15 years of age, boys are classed into the child class or wawa14 They soon participate in a ritual known as Masatrot and are trained in a youth-house or talaon, where they learn to obey orders as well as certain commands14 Once they accomplished this, they would move to the preparatory youth class or kapah and stay there until they are 23 years of age, when they finally reach the superior class14

See alsoedit

  • Demographics of Taiwan
  • Taiwanese aborigines

Referencesedit

  1. ^ a b c Taiwan recognises 'lost' people BBC News Retrieved on January 19, 2007
  2. ^ a b Tsai, Li-huang 2005 A comparative study of Sakizaya and Amis in Hualien by mitochondrial DNA sequences analysis MA Tzu Chi University OCLC 74192223 Retrieved March 2, 2008 
  3. ^ a b c Rolett, Barry V, Jiao, Tianlong & Lin, Gongwu 2002 "Early seafaring in the Taiwan Strait and the search for Austronesian origins" Journal of Early Modern History 41:307–319
  4. ^ Exec Yuan 2014, p 49
  5. ^ a b c d Sakizaya becomes the 13th indigenous group Taiwan Journal Published on January 26, 2007 Retrieved on May 5, 2007
  6. ^ a b c d e The Secret's Out Taiwan Review Published on April 4, 2007 Retrieved on May 5, 2007
  7. ^ Faure, David 2003 'Mountain Tribes Before Japanese Occupation', in ed David Faure, In Search of The Hunters and Their Tribes, SMC Publishing Inc Taipei May 4, 2007 pp 19–21
  8. ^ a b Sakizaya Geographic Distribution Taiwanese Council of Indigenous Peoples Retrieved on February 28, 2008
  9. ^ Engbarth, Dennis 18 January 2007 "Sakizaya becomes Taiwan's 13th native tribe" Taiwan News Retrieved June 12, 2016 
  10. ^ a b Sakizaya ratified as thirteenth indigenous tribe The China Post Vol XLI, No18,5484 p19 Retrieved on January 17, 2007
  11. ^ Chuang, Jimmy 14 October 2005 "Tribe wants official recognition" Taipei Times p 2 Retrieved 12 June 2016 
  12. ^ Chuang, Jimmy 18 January 2007 "Premier finds inspiration in recognition of Sakiraya" Taipei Times p 4 Retrieved 12 June 2016 
  13. ^ Hsu, Mutsu 1991 "Culture, Self and Adaptation: The Psychological Anthropology of Two Malayo-Polynesian Groups in Taiwan" Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica ISBN 957-9046-78-6
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Sakizaya Cultural Feature Taiwanese Council of Indigenous Peoples Retrieved on February 28, 2008
  15. ^ a b Amis, Nataoran: A language of Taiwan Ethnologue Published in 2005 Retrieved on June 1, 2007
  16. ^ Tokyo University Linguistic Papers Vol 13 : Abstracts Tokyo University Retrieved on June 1, 2007
  17. ^ Taiwan People CIA Factbook Retrieved on June 11, 2007
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Sakizaya Religion and Belief Taiwanese Council of Indigenous Peoples Retrieved on February 28, 2008
  19. ^ a b c d e f Stainton, Michael 2006 "Hou Shan/Qian Shan Mugan: Categories of Self and Other in a Tayal Village" in Yeh Chuen-Rong ed History, Culture and Ethnicity: Selected Papers from the International Conference on the Formosan Indigenous Peoples Taipei: SMC Publishing Inc ISBN 978-957-30287-4-1
  20. ^ a b c d Sakizaya Rituals and Legend Taiwanese Council of Indigenous Peoples Retrieved on February 28, 2008
  21. ^ a b c d Formosa under the Dutch, Described From Contemporary Records, 2nd Edition
  22. ^ Hsu, Mutsu 1991 "Culture, Self and Adaptation: The Psychological Anthropology of Two Malayo-Polynesian Groups in Taiwan" Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica ISBN 957-9046-78-6 pp29–36
  23. ^ Montgomery-McGovern, Janet B 1922 Among the Head-Hunters of Formosa Boston: Small Maynard and Co Reprinted 1997, Taipei: SMC Publishing ISBN 957-638-421-4
  24. ^ a b Anderson, Christian 2000 "New Austronesian Voyaging: Cultivating Amic Folk Songs for the International Stage" in David Blundell ed, Austronesian Taiwan: Linguistics, History, Ethnology, Prehistory Taipei: SMC Publishing

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