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The Establishment of the Shufan (“Cooked” Aboriginal) Migrant Community and Its Social Life on the Periphery of the Jianan Plain of Southern Taiwan (1760-1945): The case of the Da-wu-long-pai-she

Articles
Li-wan HUNG (Academia Sinica)
Year: 
2012
Volume: 
10
Number: 
1
Page: 
31-86
Abstract: 

This paper describes the social life of shufan ("cooked" or Sinified aboriginal) communities on the hillsides surrounding the Jianan Plain of southem Taiwan. It uses historical records from the Dutch and Qing period, household registers from the Japanese colonial era, and archives of the office of the Govemor- General of Taiwan as well as fieldwork to exarnine the migration of the people of Da- wu-long- pai- she to this area and their subsequent social life. The study analyzes the migration of these groups to new settlements in distant places and their interaction with neighboring ethnic groups through discussion of religious activities and marriage networks. With the influx of Han immigrants from the mainland, the shufan of the Da- wu-long- she faced intense competition for survival and a contraction in their living space. As a result, beginning in the 1740s-60s, they moved away from their original settlements to areas previously occupied by the Duo-luo- guo- she. Shufan who migrated from elsewhere and settled on the hillsides near the Jiuchong River are generally known as Da- wu-long- pai- she. In their newfound living space, the Da- wu-long- pai- she united with their fellow tribesmen. They brought their beliefs in the Great Progenitor (Taizu) with them from their original settlement and perpetuated their religious practices. They also maintained close ties and even inter- married with fellow shufan who remained in their previous places of residence. From the mid-nineteenth century when the Da-wu-long-pai-she frrst resett1ed, they remained the dominant tribe in the hillside areas of the Jianan Plain. The remoteness of the area, difficulty of communication with the outside world, close community ties and marriage networks all contributed to the preservation of their social traditions. However, their religious belief gradually transformed into a mixture of faith in Taizu, Han folk religion and Christianity. They also intermarried with Han. The case of Da-wu-long-pai-she shows that the history of shufan communities involves more than mere assimilation to the Han and westemization. Dense interactions among hillside aboriginal groups also played an important role.

Journal of History and Anthropology