2011年8月27日 星期六

Aboriginal marriages

[The Siraya protesting against take-over of ancestral land by the gov't. Source: http://savingsiraya.blogspot.com/2011/06/siraya-glossary.html]

These are expert comments by Andrew Kerslake, re-posted here for easy access:

In many, but not all, Plains Aborigine societies (Siraya and Makato especially), there was a cultural taboo against marriage and live births before the age of 32 for women and 34 for men.

It is believed that this tradition served two simultaneous goals. The Sirayic or Tsouic cultures practice uxorilocal marriage in which the man marries into the woman's house. Siraya used an age-grade system to mete out access to various forms of cultural power and responsibility much like the traditional Amis. When Siraya men achieved a certain level of status once his headhunting days were over, he would pluck the hair on part of his scalp and retreat to a position of "elder". This was the pinnacle of his power.

The Siraya also used this age grade system to manage the sexual division of labor in which the men hunted game and prepared for war. The women reared children, did the weaving, tended the fields and did other housework.

European reports often regarded the men as "lazy" and the women as "hard working". This is because the younger men spent their time hanging in the bachelor house repairing weapons, repairing bodies and preparing for the physical demands of the hunt or the battleground.

So, a prohibition of marriage and live births before 32/34 respectively ensured that (a) a man could risk his life in the hunt or on the battlefield to secure heads without fear of leaving a wife or child if he should die. (b) When a man turned 34 his body would be wearing down and he would no longer be as spry as the young men (yes, we all remember when it happened to us). The man would then be free to marry and move into his wife's house. By this time her father would be in his mid-sixties and realistically too old to compete with his son-in-law as the top man of the house. By that time, if he were still alive, he would be relegated to helping the women with the farming and house chores, which would have relegated him to the status as a "female" and have really no standing in the community as he would be too feeble to participate in "manly" activities.

When the Dutch introduced Christianity, many of the younger Siraya welcomed the change as it allowed them to leapfrog their way to higher positions in the community without having to abide by the age grade system.

I imagine this may have led to an explosion in live births that may have later been misrepresented as Han settlement. Later, during the Cheng and Qing administrations, it is conceivable to believe that many other indigenous groups also experienced a baby boom as they acculturated into Confucio-Han beliefs. I can even see how it may have been embraced by older men who may have felt more revered under the system and able to sire more children.

What is clear is that under the Chengs there was a lack of available women. There had also been enough cases of Han/Aborigine cohabitation under the Dutch to make the Dutch registers. The Chengs had to import something like 20,000 women from present-day Vietnam, Indonesia and China to appease the ranks.

Despite the various maritime quarantines, many women made the trip. A lot of men also retreated back to China.

Still lots of questions that remain, but I think the indigenous contribution is greater than currently accepted, but not as high as many might wish.

Let me just add that by the 19th century there were many villages already described by Europeans as "half-caste". It is unclear how the offspring of cross cultural marriages viewed their ethnicity, but by Han cultural norms they would have been regarded as Han and thus may have led to some confusion in the records.

Another important note is that in the Confucio-Han cosmologies adopted by the Qing, the blood, DNA or direct descent was not regarded as being very important. Having a child tend to ancestral graves and work all the Fengshui was far more important than blood. This made interethnic adoption a very accepted and common way for Indigenous children to become Han. The importance of blood only came after the arrival of Darwinian science and the ethnic nationalist movements of the latter 19th century.

26 則留言:

  1. Wondering what their average life expectancy is; may be well below 40. There is not too much time left for breeding, isn't it?

  2. It is pustulated that the Siraya, like the Hutterites of Europe, had adapted to accommodate live. healthy births well into the mid 40's.

  3. Hi Andrew:

    Thanks for taking the time. These are very insightful comments.

    Biologically speaking, after age 30-35, women tend to be less fertile, develop more complications during pregnancy, at higher risk of miscarriages, and bear babies with birth defects. I kind of doubt that these Aboriginal women are exceptions, plus they would have lost at least 10 years of head start comparing to the Han people. The final result would be fewer Aboriginal children that may adversely affect the net population growth.

    This may explain the reason why the Pingpu people seemed to have been assimilated into the Han population.

    As an example, the Pingpu in Danshui area now number around 100, not that much different from the census conducted during the Dutch rule (ca 1637). In contrast, Danshui District alone now has at least 130K people and still growing.

  4. Right. John R. Shepherd has some very interesting insights into the Siraya and other cultures that postponed live births until middle age and found cases of societies where women's bodies had adapted to conceiving healthy children and giving live births up into their mid 40's.


  5. Then there is another issue: inbreeding - this would further reduce the number of healthy births.

    Throughout Qing and Japanese eras, census differentiates the Aborigines from the others. The same continues even for today. According to 2005 census of Taichung City, for example, among the 1,032,778 residents, Pingpu = 890 families and mountain Aborigines = 1,097 families, totaling 6,080 people. 0.6% of total = nearly invisible; similar situation in most population centers since the Ming-Cheng days.

  6. Many of the earliest bands of human populations were quite small from a band of a couple males and a few more females. The largest sustainable hunter gatherer bands reached approximately 100 individuals. There is one study which suggests Norht America was populated by as few as 8-12 individuals.

    For Taiwan's plains indigenes, there were mostly endogamous with some degree of exogamous marriages in certain cases at certain times. Main villages grew to as large as 800-1500 individuals (it is not always clear if children were recorded), and there were also several satellite villages ranging in population from between 40 to 300 individuals. Of course these numbers were often in flux as these groups encountered different administrations resulting in frequent cases of identity shift. I believe at one point the population of Auran Village in Feng Yuan was somewhere over 3000 individuals. Fengshan was also quite large.

    The census numbers during the Qing and Japanese eras only reflect those populations that can still, by some means, be identified as Aborigine. It may have been self identification or it may have been cultural. Many groups simply slipped into Han as they lost any means for authorities to determine if they were actually "Huan-a".

    I think the salient point is really not what happened to the DNA, as it is pretty meaningless in the big picture of human societies. The salient issue might be how, when and why indigenous people managed their ethnic identities and how they negotiated these different identities with the civilizing centers.

    I have an old monograph by Frank Bessac from the 1960's. In his research he identifies a population in Puli and includes a brief description. From his observation he concludes that the men have a certain aversion to working in the fields or helping with the farming, which he determines to be an "archaic Chinese tradition" perpetuated over time by Han immigrants.

    It is clear to me that this is a reference to an indigenous tradition that survived despite the indigenes having lost any signifier of an identity other than Han.

    In 1960's Taiwan, the barriers between Han and Fan had already completely dissolved as there was no way to really determine what these people were. Under the ROC tropes it may have been more advantageous.

    I recently visited Ershui, a former satellite village of Davale, where the indigenous people had once maintained a "refuge" during head hunting season. It later became the defacto village site as Dounan culturally transformed into a Han settlement. I must emphasize the cultural transformation as many of the indigenous people probably stayed and became Han, while others left (There seems to be a misconception that Han settlement was entirely due to outside immigration).

    As I poked around and asked questions, the locals knew of no indigenous history in the area. I was told that they lived on the plains, so they were not "Shan di ren". Then, when I told them what I was looking for they directed me up the mountain to "talk to those people".

    In the contemporary Taiwanese mind, Aborigines are located both "up" in the mountains and "far away". Therefore they can't possibly have been in Ershui. The distancing is also very telling of how and why the plains indigenous population had dropped. The definitions had changed. By imagining "savages" to live in "savage places" the plains dwellers capture and defend their "civility" in a system that rewards a certain definition of the term. I think this is a major part of the population question.

    A lot of immigration happened, but local populations were also quite healthy.

  7. Hi Andrew,

    Very glad to see all these great information. I've got a few questions.

    1. I heard the Aborigines in Taiwan came from Polynesia/Australia, is that right?

    2. I was thinking that if the Aborigines had a social order of age 32 live birth, then that might be a solution for a present day social problem: teen pregnancy. However, the title of the Shepherd book is Marriage and Mandatory Abortion among the 17th-century Siraya. So they probably used abortion to solve the teen pregnancy problem. But how? I heard a few old tales that back then Chinese women couldn't abort pregnancy because no Chinese medicine could do it. And some unwanted babies (girl) ended up being killed at birth. Were the Siraya that medically advanced that they could perform abortion?

    3. Is there some info on who the real household boss is in an uxorilocal marriage? If a Siraya woman was the landowner and a Han man married into her family, how did the Han husband get the land ownership from her if she was the boss? Wouldn't she pass it down to her daughter instead? If the wife wasn't the boss (matriarch), how did she get the land ownership in the first place?

    4. How did the language communication work out in a Siraya woman/Han man marriage? Their kids maybe bilingual, but surely the kids would use the language of the dominant member of the family far more. That's also a reason I am curious who the household boss is. If the mother is the boss, the kids will likely speak mostly their mother tongue. That means the aboriginal language should be passed down and get mixed in with the Taiwanese language somewhat. Is there some expressions/phrases in Taiwanese Min-nan language that came from aboriginal languages? (Could Patrick's grandmother-in-law have some knowledge of that?) And not just language; food choices may also be indicator of aboriginal legacy. Are there Taiwanese dishes that resemble Siraya cooking?

  8. I think a lot of people are thinking it's the other way round, with Polynesian people originally coming from Taiwan (Taiwan as the mother country of Polynesia, see Jared Diamonds Guns, Germs and Steel).

    According to Chosan, the Taiwanese word for breadfruit, Bat-Chit-L'ut or 八支律, comes from one of the aboriginal languages. Bat-Chit-L'ut sounds like breadfruit and I am guessing it's similar in Dutch, the people who first brought the fruit to Taiwan.

    The names of lots of places in Taiwan originally were aboriginal words: Kaohsiung, Madou, Monga, etc (my neighborhood, which means canoe in one of the local languages). My wife's grandma can't speak an aboriginal language. I doubt she understands that she is aboriginal. But I'll ask her.

  9. "But I'll ask her"? Patrick, you may get thrown out of her house if you do.

  10. My Ami classmate, Sakata 坂田 showed me a couple of partially rotten canoes in his village and said “those are the canoes our ancestor used to arrive here and we worship them every year.” As we all know the aborigines are talented athletes. Upon returning from competition in Philippines, one of them told me that he could communicate with locals using his mother tongue; the chicken was called A-yam. My non-scientific conclusion is that Ami tribe is originally from the South Islands by canoes.
    I have never heard anything called Birth Certificate in Japan or Taiwan. The county office or 郡役所 is the place to keep one’s birth record, which is submitted verbally by parents within a month after the birth of a baby. The Household Registration 戸口謄本 is the only written birth record issued in due of the birth certificate. I understand that the birth record keeping in western countries was by the church in the old time and now by the county registrar’s office. The hospital is the one to issue the written birth certificate. My question is how do the aborigines in Taiwan keep their birth records without having the written letter and calendar to follow?

  11. Herman:

    1: To politely disregard indigenous oral traditions, linguistic and archaeological evidence suggests that a Pre-Austronesian people moved along the river valleys of southern Asia from the mountainous areas around modern day Thailand and Malaysia. Some of these groups migrated to Taiwan roughly 8,000 years ago. After a period of time isolated from their source groups (possibly 1000-1500 years), these groups on Taiwan developed a distinct Proto-Austroneasian language and culture unique to Taiwan. After about 3000 years on Taiwan these groups became much more divers and isolated leading to a greater amount of diversity and drift in the Proto-Austronesian language and resulting in Taiwan's many Austronesian languages. Possibly... 3000 years ago, Austronesian peoples set out into the Pacific from Taiwan to become the furthest reaching pre-Columbian language group. That is not to say that every Austronesian group on Taiwan or outside is from the same group. For instance, Austronesian speaking groups in New Guinea appear to have adopted the language and material culture (corded pottery) of other Austronesian speakers, but share closer DNA links to a much earlier southern migration 40,000 years ago.

    The people's of Polynesia may be more directly related with groups rapidly moving from Taiwan out into the Pacific and those groups rapidly moving further East.

    2. Dutch records of the Siraya actually make a point of noting the "loose sexual mores" of the SIrayan youth. One Dutch chronicle describes a Siraya man "finishing" and offering the Dutchman take over "relations" with his wife. The Dutch also disapproved of how young Sirayan teens would run off to the woods for some R&R while their parents laughed and joked about it.

    Shepherd's theory is that the Siraya Inibs, or priestesses, would use a commonly held technique of uterine massage to abort the fetus.

    3. I would imagine as times changed and powers changed... this too did change. I am not sure she would have been the boss, but a man would move to her house. I would also imagine that a Han man might request his children adopt Han beliefs in Feng shui to worship his grave after his death and his wife would have been complicit in the acculturation process.

    As the Siraya changed for the Dutch, I am sure they CHanged for the Qing. In Siraya culture they held military prowess in high regard. The Dutch used this to gain power in the southern core. Siraya groups would even pit the Dutch against traditional enemies to use this military power. They may have had no problem adopting Han culture if it meant they were aligned with the kind of power they highly valued.

    4. This is interesting as the mother would have raised the children. By the mid-19th century Hoklo was the dominant language of the market and so everyone had to know the language....much like Mandarin has overpowered Hoklo in a mere 60 years. Despite the power of the civilizing center, many words did pass down.

    My mother-in-law considers herself to be Han. She is a Zhang from Taiwan. Not a direct relation to the big Hakka family that settled, but probably an offshoot. I interviewed her as a field test to see if "nursery words", the words parents use to speak to their small children, may differ from the dominant languages. I was expecting possibly Hakka or Hoklo words. I asked what she called her mother as a little girl. Her reply was, "Yi-na!" This is the Pazeh word for mother.

    To the comment at 3:50.

    Linguistic evidence points to a strong relationship between Siraya/Makato and Amis and Kavalan. The linguist, Robert Blust, seems to feel the plains aborigines on the East sailed small canoes around from the southwestern core. The cultural similarities in age grade systems also backs this up. I hope your comment on Aborigines being good at sports is an attempt at humor.

  12. Oh, Chosan...

    In many of Taiwan's indigenous cultures they use naming to link children to parents and grandparents... daisychaining them together. AB's child becomes BC. BC's child becomes CD. On Orchid Island the Daoo might name a boy A. The father becomes Father of A.

  13. Many Ami and Taroko aborigines I met were simple minded and very poor in calculation. For instance, when two of them catch six fish, instead of distributing three to each one, they will start go around of “you-pick-one-I-pick-one” circle until no more left. They seem don’t understand the weight measurement we use. They get angry when we put too much on scale then remove some amount to balance the scale; the secret to make them happy is put small amount on scale first then add a bit more. Many middle age aborigines insist that they are over 100 years old since they don’t know how to calculate their age or proper way to record their true age. I don’t know how they can tell he is 34 and she is 32 years old?

  14. Thanks to all for this feast of information.

    Makes a lot of sense that geographic names can be a mother lode of clues to indigenous origins. My hometown Keelung, 基隆, may have come from the name 雞籠 (Chicken Cage!) Does anybody know the history of this? And where are/were Pazeh, Siraya, Makato?

    The word for mother ,"Yi-na", from Andrew's mother-in-law is quite significant to me. I thought "mama" is the universal name uttered by babies for mother. This is really something.

    Also make sense that migration took place by people from bigger landmass out to the ocean islands. I forgot where I first saw the information linking the origin of Taiwan Aborigines to the Pacific Islands. Seemed like it was in a small museum somewhere. Can't remember.

    I know Chinese also call people by the name of their children. I had relatives and neighbors refer to each other as "Wei-li's ma" or "Hong-tou's pa", if their relation is not close. If the relation is close then it's called by cousins or uncles or aunts, etc.

    Finally on social blunders. I didn't realize that if Patrick asked his grandma-in-law about aboriginal origin it could cause trouble. But since EyeDoc mentioned it, it seems plausible that she may not be pleased to be associated with "fan" 番. And then Andrew mentioned about the comment on Aborigines being good at sports is an attempt at humor. That reminds me of the incident where Ma Ying-jeou praised the indigenes being good at singing and dancing, and got criticized for it. This is puzzling to me. I can understand that if he said the indigenes were good at only dancing but nothing else, then that's somewhat insulting. But I don't see Ma implying that, nor ChoSan implying that Indigenes are good at sports only and nothing else. Maybe Andrew can explain what the problem is and how to deal with it. I honestly don't see where these invisible verbal landmines are. And if EyeDoc can illuminate the proper approach for Patrick to broach the subject to his grandma-in-law, that would nice too. I can definitely use a few lessons of this myself.

  15. Hi Herman,

    基隆 (from 基地昌隆) was of course derived from 雞籠, the latter named after 雞籠山 (between 九份 and 金瓜石). The name change was completed in 1881. It was non-Aboriginal.

    And Pazeh (Pazih), Siraya, Makato (Makatao, a branch of Siraya) were/are all Pingpu residing in Nantou, Tainan, and Pingtung areas, respectively.

    As to the landmines, you may still recall a toothpaste, the "黑人牙膏" when growing up in Taiwan? We were pretty surprised that it ran afoul in the US more recently because of its offensive English name (it is now called "Darlie"). This shows you that the hidden social landmines are more from a change in circumstances.

    "番" can mean either Aboriginal, or being stubborn (in Taiwanese, a personal attack). The two questions "are you a 番" and "are you 番" are entirely different. The latter may get you expelled.

  16. Herman,

    The last part is called "biological determinism".

    Biological determinism is the belief that any group of people is predisposed to certain traits based on purely on their biological make-up. This idea comes from the social darwinism of the late 19th century, when nationalisms started to adopt racialist ideas.

    By assigning "races" with certain biological traits, certain powers felt they could justify their colonial projects and deny indigenous peoples equal rights under colonial rule.

    Contemporary Chinese nationalism is a racialist ideology in which Sun Yat-sen and his cohorts constructed a Chinese race. Furthermore, they determined that "White and Yellow races" were superior over the "degraded races of the Browns and Blacks."

    This belief justified racism and helped explain why the Europeans cold so forcefully defeat the Qing to open treaty ports.

    With Chinese nationalism, these racialist beliefs manifested themselves in an ideology which conflated Han into the term/idea of Chinese. It also conflated the concept of Han-Chinese with ideas of modernism. Therefore, to transform others to be like Han-Chinese was not viewed as a civilizing project, but rather an attempt at modernizing a people. We see this at work in China as the CCP often cites the electric light as evidence that their rule and imposition of culture has been good for Tibetans. It is of course a culturalist belief.

    Furthermore, these Chinese nationalist definitions of modernism are linked to the state, so the closer one is to the state and state culture the closer one is to being modern.

    In Taiwan, the problem is that to be an Aborigine, one must be traditional. The state definition of Aborigine includes traditional language, traditional costume, traditional material culture, traditional location. Of course to certify oneself as Han there is no requirement.

    This rubric puts Aborigines at a disadvantage as they can never be truly equal. They can never attain modernism if they wish to remain Aborigines i.e. traditional.

    These beliefs in what Aborigines are is entirely the construct of the Chinese nationalist state and they are based on stereotypes of how the indigenous people may have been at the time of first contact as if their culture is unchanging.

    it is basically racist.

  17. Let me take it a step further...

    One basic definition of a civilizing/colonial project is: (a) Locating a group of people and determine that they are both different and more importantly "lacking". (b) Determine that this group of people is capable of being taught by the civilizer and subjectively transformed into something "better".

    I have heard that Keelung was a Katagalon word Gei-lon or Ge-lang that was changed into Ji-Long "Chicken Cage" in a similar way Tirrosen became Zhuluo Shan then Chiayi.

  18. And... before I go out the door this morning...

    More classical Han beliefs in the relationship between biology, location and refinement or degradation manifest themselves in the physical image of the indigene.

    During the Qing, indigenous people were depicted in gazetteer illustrations as grotesquely twisted creatures with bulging muscles. This was less an accurate image of the indigene, but rater a pejorative reflection of the indigene's perceived barbarity.

    Han in the classical Qing period believed that physiology and mental refinement were linked. The more Hua or "culture" a person posessed, the more refined they were. Musculature was perceived as a symbol of total barbarity and degradation as opposed to the Han classes of scholarly elite who embodied the spirit of having "Hua".

  19. Indeed, some have proposed that Ke-lan was a Han abbreviation of [Ke]taga[lan]; however, the Hokkien pronunciation of Ji-long is Gue-lang, entirely different from Ke-lan. This Aboriginal origin seems made-up. Plus the name 雞籠 first appeared in a 1617 geography book and 雞籠山 has always been a navigational landmark.

  20. I think so too... but I do think we tend to be quick to accept a Hoklo?Hancentric view of nomenclature. X was originally Y in Hoklo. My guess might be that Jilong may be Hoklo for a "people" of the area "lang".

  21. Let me tie these loose threads back to the original topic.

    I think is is apparent that the Han/Hoklo chauvinism of the Qing, combined with the beliefs of racialism and modernism under the Japanese and ROC led to a situation where Fan would and could quickly become Han.

    Under Han cosmologies Fan or "savages" were "savage" because of their "untamed" environment, their "unrefined" food, their "savage" behavior and their perceived "distance" from the civilized center i.e. the Emperor's seat in the Forbidden City.

    As these parameters shifted and Han culturalism spread, it would have been asy and advantageous for ex-Fan to demonstrate that since they were living in tamed areas (like my trip to Davale) and behaving like refined people, that they too must not be Fan. Once the parameters or distinctions were removed the transformation could take place and I would bet that it did in great numbers.

  22. EyeDoc,

    I do remember 黑人牙膏, with the gallon hat and the snow white teeth. Is that Darlie with the l for the k? Oh boy. "Social landmines are more from a change in circumstances." Well, I guess no readily available guidebook then.


    ChoSan has brought up a couple of interesting points. I wonder if you have something to say about them?

    And let me see if I understand what you have said to me.

    Suppose there's a Han man Mr. H and an Aboriginal man Mr. A.

    Suppose Mr. H says to Mr. A: "You are a good athlete." Now because of the Chinese
    racialism + nationalism + modernism, this message is equivalent to "You are a savage." Is that close to what you are explaining?

    My final question is: Suppose Mr. H wants to communicate to Mr. A only that "you are a good athlete" and nothing else. No implication of "you are a savage" is intended in any way. How can Mr. H do it, given the undercurrents of racialism + nationalism + modernism + chauvinism?

  23. Saying Aborigine=good athlete is a racialist construct as is hinges on a belief in biological determinism.

    Is hinges on a dichotomy between Aborigine and non Aborigine. So in the Chinese nationalist construct it is a very loaded statement, especially If we take into account the existing prejudices and Han cultural sentiments regarding musculature and athletic prowess. These are traits that have been viewed as "unrefined" or "barbaric".

    Some Aborigines are excellent athletes... and so are some Hakkas and jews and white Anglo-Saxons.

  24. Hi Andrew:

    "It is apparent that the Han/Hoklo chauvinism of the Qing": I need to split hair a bit here.

    The Qing were initially one of the minority groups before they assumed the China-centered royal hierarchy and with it the chauvinism. Chauvinism has been in place for thousands of years, groups outside of Han have been labeled variously as 夷,胡,蠻,狄, etc and most, as the Manchus, were absorbed into the Chinese society. The Han-nitization (?) of the Pingpu can be regarded as an extension of this process. The Japanese have had their share of failure in ruling the Ainu in Hokkaido, it was hardly surprising that they had also failed in converting the Aborigines in Taiwan. After the Japan rule, we are back to the assimilation mode only to see the Mountain Aborigines now choose to retain/recover their racial identities, kind of a reverse-racialism at play.

    Back to the "Aborigine=good athlete" issue. CK Yang (Ami), the national decathlon hero, and the Little League 紅葉棒球隊 (Bunun) both readily come to mind. It is hard to say if the Aborigines see sports as the path to fame and fortune and promoted it, or the Hoklo are being prejudicious. In Danshui, for example, the rugby team of Tamkang High School has a large number of Aboriginal players on scholarship. This arrangement is not necessarily a harmful one.

    ChoSan's description of his Ami classmates is from personal interaction, hardly a result of racialism. I can see the dilemma in dividing the fish by number: what if the biggest fish is also of the tastier kind, then it would have been the big one for you but two for the rest. The marketplace haggling might just be the cunning Aboriginal shoppers in action. After a while, the shop owner might decide that it was too うるさい[troublesome], and hastily concluded the transaction. Pure conjecture, of course.

    Very interesting comments, Andrew. Indeed a wealth of info previously unknown to us. We indeed tend to see things from the Hoklo/Han perspective. More understanding is always a good thing.

    For Herman, I also have a post on Er-Shui, see:

  25. Hi Andrew,

    I do want to touch upon one point: while all humans may descend from one original couple, the mutations in the millions of years since have changed the equation. Recent evidence suggests human inter-breeding with the Neanderthals, this is quite beneficial as far as enriching the gene pool. I heard the Hutterites also introduced new blood into the clan by inviting outside "breeders". In small populations, this is inevitable if hereditary diseases are to be avoided/reduced. The Jews are a very good example of inbreeding and inherited diseases. The Aborigines in Taiwan are known to be afflicted with a number of rare metabolic diseases, at a much higher rate than the Han, e.g., the Maple Syrup Urine Syndrome, thalassemia, and gout, just to name a few. These are inborn errors - as that in the Jews.

    Funny you should lump the Hakkas and the Jews in the same sentence, a slip of sorts?

  26. Thanks EyeDoc, got the post on Er-Shui.

    And thanks Andrew. I've been thinking about your answers and they make me aware of some of my own assumptions. Look forward to your comments in the future.