2011年8月15日 星期一

Illegal migration/immigration

The above is a map of the 4 major migration routes in the Qing era [click to enlarge]. The migrants/immigrants originated principally from 泉州Chuan-chow, 漳州Chang-chow, and 潮/惠州Chau/Hui-chow 府prefectures. The first two groups are the Hoklo and the last, mostly Hakka. Together, they are conventionally known as the Taiwanese.

Since the number of illegal migrants/immigrants has also been debated as far as the origin of Taiwanese, another discussion here may help clarify this matter somewhat [even though a previous post has already touched upon the subject, see here].

First, it must be realized the immigrants arrived in Taiwan in several waves. And the population increased tremendously despite the 213 years of the Qing rule that had actually banned the arrival of women. If one accepts the ban as being absolute, then the population growth must be explained. Many have tried and there are now two major competing theories:

(1) Male migrants intermarried with Aboriginal women; and
(2) Corrupt immigration system and people smuggling were the major factors.

These two are not necessarily mutually exclusive; although they have now become so owing to, IMHO, incomplete or falsely constructed information. The only way to resolve the issue is to re-visit the immigration history of Taiwan.

Take the 羅漢腳 [the Loitering Bachelors] for example, some of these poor souls did intermarry with the Aboriginal women in the early years of the Qing rule. [Left: in the countryside, small shrines such as this one were built to commemorate the 羅漢腳 who died young and family-less.] They entered Taiwan either legally or illegally - illegal if they could not pay the exorbitant permit fees and paid the less expensive people smugglers instead. However, it'll be way too simplistic to regard them as the ancestors of present-day Taiwanese. Unless the Aboriginal men had all forfeited their right to propagate, the number of intermarriages would have been quite small. There is a modern-day parallel: the intermarriages between KMT veterans [the "老兵old soldiers"] and Aboriginal [and Han] women in the past 60 years, are also quite rare, even newsworthy at times.

The first wave of immigration refers to that before and during the Dutch era. This is irrelevant to the present discussion.

The second wave lasted from 1661 (the beginning of Ming-Cheng) until 1735 (the end of the 雍正 period). During the Ming-Cheng era, an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 Southern Hokkienese migrated to Taiwan. However, with the Ming-Cheng soldiers forced back to the mainland, and a restriction by the Qing law enacted in 1683, the 「台灣編查流寓條例」, the number of Han-people would have been at an all-time low shortly after 1683. [Note: this Ming-Cheng turncoat 施琅's law stipulated that 1.渡行台灣者必須事先取得許可,密航者處以懲罰。(Permit to emigrate to Taiwan is required; violators will be punished - hence the thriving smuggling industry.); 2.渡行台灣者不得攜眷,已渡臺者亦不得接取家族。(No family members allowed into Taiwan - usually the wives - held as hostages for a better control of the immigrants and the garrison force.); and 3.廣東屢成海盜淵藪,因積習未改,其住民不許渡臺 (Canton is frequently a home to pirates, its residents - including the Hakka - therefore are not allowed into Taiwan.] The 羅漢腳 and the "absolutely no Cantonese/Hakka allowed" policy were both a part of this legacy. For the well-to-do "pioneers/developers", they could afford to travel back and forth between Taiwan and the mainland, much like the 台商 of today except in reverse. This was not so for those loitering bachelors who often became unruly and a menace to the society.

Some readers may have been under the impression that this 1683 law was strictly enforced throughout the Qing rule. This was not the case at all. Even under the restriction, many immigrants still prospered and their families later became prominent Taiwanese families. For example, 連横Lien-heng, the author of 台灣通史, descended from 連興位 who emigrated to Tainan in 康熙二十一年 (1682). And from Chang-chow prefecture alone, families identified by 49 surnames arrived and settled in southern Taiwan. This suggests a certain degree of laxity in enforcing the immigration law.

By the end of the 雍正 reign (ca 1735), local officials petitioned the Qing Court for a relaxation of the ban. The governor of Taiwan-fu 沈起元 had requested an increase in the number of immigrants from Hokkien, in his 《條陳台灣事宜狀》, he stated that "漳泉兩地無籍之民,無田可耕,無工可傭,無食可覓。一到台地,上之可以致富,下之可以溫飽"[in both Chang-chow and Chuan-chow, drifter-people with no land to till, no job to hold, no food to feed on will become rich or at least well-off once they arrive in Taiwan]. This proposal had received wide support, and the Qing Court relented.

The third wave of immigration started in 1735, until 1895 (when the Japanese took over the island).

In 1735, immigration of whole families was permitted. Between 1732 and 1875, the law changed from officially sanctioned immigrants on "官渡" only, to including private immigration through "私渡", allowing brothers, couples, or the entire extended family if they migrated together. These plus the illegals were the core groups of Taiwanese, not those few during the second wave that had intermarried with the Aborigines. And according to 台灣通史, by 嘉慶十六年(1811), over 2 million Han-people now resided in Taiwan.

As another examples, during this period, the ancestors of two of the more prominent Lin families migrated in:

In 1746, 林石 moved to Wufeng霧峰, his descendants were well-known Qing generals that included 林文察 and his son 林朝棟 (a major player in the Sino-French war in 1884).
In 1778, 林應寅 migrated to 新莊 and in 1781, his son arrived in Taipei, these were members of the 板橋林家 (the Lin Family Garden is a perennial tourists' attraction).

These and most other families from both waves can trace their family roots back to Hokkien and beyond.

The Qing restriction was finally lifted in toto in 1875. The law was never enforceable in the first place and people smuggling never stopped for as long as the demand was there. In 1759, for example, the gov't caught 25 smuggling operations in action resulting in the arrest of 990+ illegals.

The Hakka came in later and fewer in number than the Hoklo in part because of the initial total ban (both men and women). The first recorded 械鬥armed gang warfare between the Hoklo and the Cantonese (Hakka) was in 1721 [i.e., during the restriction period when the Hakka were supposedly banned] that took place in Feng-shan, a population center since the Tung-Ning Kingdom days. These deadly fights in other heavily populated areas were to continue until 1862 or even later, but that is another story.


1. 連橫:《台灣通史》
2. 沈雲:《台灣鄭氏始末》卷4,《台灣文獻叢刊》第25種
3. 沈起元:《條陳台灣事宜狀》,《經世文篇》卷84
4. 《東征記》卷4,《台灣文獻叢書》第12種
5. 余文儀:乾隆二十九年《續修台灣府志》
6. 《清德宗實錄》卷3

32 則留言:

  1. It is a great documentation, thanks EyeDoc. I was wondering if you were a history major, just kidding.
    Don't forget to mention that crossing the Taiwan Strait, called 烏水溝 by Junk is a matter of live and death and it is well described by the old saying that 唐山過台灣「六死二留一回頭」though the total number does not add up to ten.

  2. "漳州Chang-chow" is where my wife's ancestors came from. She thinks a lot of the Taiwanese people living in Taipei come from here. She also, sorry to keep opening up this can of worms, believes that some of her ancestors are aboriginal. She bases this on the uxorilocal marriage patterns in her family and physical traits (hardly scientific though) of her grandparents.

  3. "In 1735, immigration of whole families was permitted." That's right. This was done to appease two recent revolts. Here are the stats on family immigration from the start of the Ching Dynasty up to the end of the 18th century:

    1683 to 1732: Forbidden
    1732 to 1740: Allowed
    1740 to 1746: Forbidden
    1746 to 1748: Allowed
    1748 to 1760: Forbidden
    1760 to 1761: Allowed
    1761 to 1788: Forbidden

    I am guessing after 1788, it was legal. Taiwanese scholars seem to put the population of Taiwan at one million around 1750 (though it is worth pointing out that Shepherd rejects this figure as too high based on available farm acreage and crop yields). Even if we knock off 250,00 from that total, that's 16 percent of Taiwan's 1950 population. If we start in 1750 and go right back to 1624, when the Dutch arrived (the Chinese banned the immigration of women during both the Dutch and Koxinga eras and the Dutch found something like 1000 Chinese people when they arrived), we have something like 10 years when family immigration was legal. And from that, we have at least 750,000 people being registered as Ching citizens in 1750....

  4. Hi ChoSan,

    唐山過台灣: the 10th was probably an MIA. That was indeed the peril of crossing Taiwan Strait on a smuggler's boat. There were also stories of how the illegals were swindled, robbed, or murdered by the smugglers. And yet, they kept coming.

  5. Patrick:

    漳州 people are everywhere, including Taipei. They still speak a slightly accented Taiwanese [from a 泉州 perspective]. Your wife's forefathers most likely arrived in 1735 or soon after. By then, very few Pinpuhuan were still hanging around, not in the population centers anyway. Perhaps her grandparents were an exception. The uxorilocal marriage is social economical, rare but not unheard of. It is not unique to the Han-Aboriginal union, though.

    There must be a family history in her parents' house somewhere. Look it up, you'll find a lot more.

    And yes, the immigration to Taiwan was marked by three cycles of restriction-relaxation. During restriction, the traffic would slow down a bit and when the ban was eased, families came over en mass. It was also this off-and-on haphazard policy that prompted the massive influx, legality be damned. The last ban was pretty much ignored by all.

    Population estimation based on acreage and crop yield is not an exact science. What if the Taiwanese ate like a bird (or less). This methodology and the birth rates [usually based on conjecture] are both open to question. Whatever the real number was, the issue is if 85% of them descended from those intermarriages from 1683 to 1735. The answer is clearly a no. It maybe politically expedient for some to separate Taiwanese from Chinese based on a blood test; however, as you have mentioned, history cannot be distorted, neither can science.

  6. Another factor may be the disintegration of indigenous age grade systems that barred live births before the age of 32. The plains Aborigine marriage and kinship systems were displaced and may have resulted in an overlooked population boom in an ere of Hoklo cultural dominance.

  7. Hi Andrew,

    This maybe the piece of puzzle that we are still missing. Care to do a guest post?

    My email: hmcheng542@msn.com

  8. What does it mean "indigenous age grade systems that barred live births before the age of 32"? Does it mean that back then the aboriginal women weren't allow to have children before the age of 32?

    In the TV show about Taiwanese/Chinese/Aborigines blood relations, they talked about the aboriginal tribes were mostly matriarchal. Any truth to that?

  9. This may be a silly question, but why were people banned from immigrating to Taiwan in the first place?

  10. Hi 160chan:

    That is actually a good question. A short answer below:

    Ming-Cheng turncoat 施琅's 1683 law was acutally quite simple:

    1.渡行台灣者必須事先取得許可,密航者處以懲罰。[Permit to emigrate is required; violators will be punished.]
    2.渡行台灣者不得攜眷,已渡臺者亦不得接取家族。[No family members allowed (usually the wives) - held as hostages for a better control of the immigrants and the garrison force.]
    3.廣東屢成海盜淵藪,因積習未改,其住民不許渡臺[Canton is home to pirates, its residents (including the Hakka) therefore are not allowed.]

    The above is now appended in the post.

  11. Hi Herman,

    Andrew is an expert of the Aboriginal study, he can certainly shed a lot more light on the subject.

    The age-grade system refers to the promotion of each individual's tribal status according to their age. Also, not all Aboriginal tribes were/are matriarchal, for example, the 阿美族 is, while 鄒族 is not. In the early years of the Qing rule, some unscrupulous Han men would marry into Aboriginal families (入贅) that were headed by a female with land ownership. These men then turned around and registered the land as their own. Enough of this happened that eventually prompted the gov't to put a stop to this type of intermarriages.

  12. EyeDoc,

    Thanks for the answer. That TV talk show did mention also this grabbing-land-property-by-marriage practice. And in Andrew's post


    there are several dates listing events that have something to do with land rights disputes: 1715, 1722, 1727, 1730, 1738, 1744, 1750, 1758, 1760, 1767, 1839.

    Seems to me the land ownership issues are quite closely tied to the illegal migration/immigration. I hope Andrew will take the time to write something about this whole business.

    That TV show also talked about the difficulty of coming to Taiwan from China. They said it as 六死三留一回頭, 黑水溝. To me the situation is thus: what were the Chinese migrants after when they decided to risk mortal dangers to cross the Taiwan Strait? And that message "一到台地,上之可以致富,下之可以溫飽" why is that? What's in Taiwan that the governor of Taiwan-fu could give destitute Chinese such hope? Can I be excused to suspect that it was the "free land" to be had in Taiwan? Something like the pioneer days in America when homesteaders were encouraged to go to the Midwest and claim as much land for himself as he could by walking in one day? The TV show mentioned that a census count, taken some years after Koxinga's time, estimated Taiwan to be about 300,000 people in the plains (I guess western plains) and 200,000 in the mountains/hills. 300,000 people in the whole of the western Taiwan plains. Lots of open arable land available for grabs to the Chinese eyes, no?

    Is it possible that some of the Chinese drifters, "漳泉兩地無籍之民,無田可耕,無工可傭,無食可覓。", after coming to Taiwan, finding out that claiming a place for themselves in Taiwan was not as easy as advertised, turned into the Taiwanese Hobos 羅漢腳?

    On the other hand, I know that I am fitting data to my hypothesis as oppose to formulating hypothesis out of data. That is a consequence of lazy habit and muddled thinking. But what the heck, sometimes it's not wrong to have a second opinion when seeing a doctor. I hope that ChoSan will take a look at my previous request.


    Out of these Taiwanese songs 飄浪之女, 月夜愁, 舊情綿綿, 望你早歸, 憶難忘, isn't there at least one that has Japanese melody in it? Do the melodies of those songs sound Japanese to you? I can even imagine 翁倩玉 singing them in her TV show.

  13. Thanks Eyedoc! I have just another question though, Exactly why was the government trying to control immigration to Taiwan? What was so bad in their eyes about a bunch of possibly undesirable people leaving the mainland?

  14. Hi Herman,

    The list you have cited was in fact the 理番[managing the Aborigines] policy in action - one of the central policies of all administrations since the Dutch era. I'll direct you to Lien-Heng's introduction to 台湾通史 卷十五, probably the best description, IMO:


    The migration of Hoklo and Hakka to Taiwan and around the same time to SE Asia, as in all other mass migrations, was for a better life, imagined or real. For the Qing rulers, more people = more tax revenues, hence the request [with ulterior motive in a way] for immigration quota. Again, Lien-Heng described the starting point of Qing taxation in 台湾通史 卷三:

    二十三年春 [1684],文武皆就任,乃大計稅畝。有田七千五百三十四甲,園一萬零九百十九甲,戶一萬二千七百二十七,口一萬六千八百二十人。琅奏請減賦,下旨再議。於是奏定上則田每甲徵粟八石八斗,園四石,每丁徵銀四錢七分六厘,著為例。初,延平郡王成功克臺之歲,清廷詔遷沿海居民,禁接濟,至是許開海禁,設海防同知於鹿耳門,准通商;赴臺者不許攜眷。琅以惠、潮之民多通海,特禁往來。

    Taiwan was hardly the Wild West, for example,

    1684: 建臺灣[Tainan]、鳳山[Feng-shan]兩儒學。
    1685: 建臺灣府[Tainan]儒學,就鄭氏舊址擴而大之,中為大成殿,祀孔子,以春秋上丁行釋菜之禮。[The Confucius temple is still there today.]
    1686: 總督王新命巡撫張仲舉奏准,歲進文武童各二十名,科進文童二十名,廩膳生二十名,增廣生如之,歲貢一人。
    1687: 臺人始應福建鄉試。

    In other words, it was already an established society (complete with opium dens in major centers), at least in Southern Taiwan. Development of the North came later, through negotiation with the Pinpuhuan, for example,

    1704: 泉州人陳賴章與熟番約,往墾大佳臘之野。是為開闢臺北之始。

    And the transfer of land ownership legally or otherwise has already been discussed. There was never an American Homesteaders situation here.

    You maybe right in that the 羅漢腳 were slackers. Taiwanese proverbs describe them as "foolish young men who migrated without thinking". On the other hand, the fact that tiny temples [the 有應公廟] were built to honor them suggests something else.

  15. 160chan:

    The law was proposed by 施琅 and approved by Qing Court. 施琅 was concerned that the Ming-Cheng loyalists might stage a comeback and his own men and the immigrants, all Hokkinese, might just join in. And the Cantonese defeated him in battle a few times. The ban was his punishment for the Cantonese - also to avoid meeting them in battle again in Taiwan. This was a paranoid guy. The Hakka were haplessly excluded because they happened to reside in Canton.

  16. "There must be a family history in her parents' house somewhere. Look it up, you'll find a lot more."

    They have one. My father-in-law has it. My wife says he will retrieve it for me during the Lunar New Year holiday.

    I have found though that the best source of information on family history is my wife's grandma. She is 91 years old now, but very active and lucid. She always tries to answer my questions about the Japanese era, WWII, etc. She lost a little sister in the American bombings in 1945.... Despite what happened, she is quite adamant that the Japanese were good for Taiwan. She also has many opinions on the chaos that followed the war.

  17. Hi Patrick,

    How exciting! Family history 家譜 is often the most priced possession in Taiwanese families. You will find out very quickly: (1) the precise address of where in 漳州Chang-Chow your wife's family came from; (2) the family tree; and (3) no aboriginal women in the family.

    Some background info on the Cheng clan, of which you are one. There were 6 branches in Hokkien, the ones from 漳州Chang-chow and 泉州Chuan-chow were started by two brothers. Koxinga was one of the 泉州Chuan-chow branch. And Cheng family from 漳州Chang-chow did appear in the surname rosters of immigrants in waves 2 and 3.

    Your wife's grandma is a tremendous source of info probably overlooked for 60 some years. She should be able to recall the names of the Japanese teachers and classmates in her elementary and high schools. And she would have lost her sister on May 31, 1945. She will also recall her personal experience during the 228. Importantly, she may still have loads of pre-1945 photos and documents, still to be digitized and archived (by you).

    There is enough material for several novels, BTW.

  18. Hi EyeDoc,

    That classical history text is tough. I can get only about half of what it says. But with the help of electronic and my good ol' Chinese-English dictionary, I make out a liberal interpretation of the except. Please correct my translation and let me know what it really means.

    Here's my take:
    臺灣固土番之地,Taiwan was the land of the Aborigines.
    我先民入而拓之,以長育子姓,至於今是賴。Our ancestors went there to develop that place, to bring long-term prosperity to the future generations, to today it is something that can be relied upon.
    故自開闢以來,官司之所經畫,人民之所籌謀,莫不以理番為務。So, since the beginning of this development, plannings by the government, and plannings by ordinary people, all include the tasks of managing the Aborigines.
    夫臺灣之番,非有戎狄之狡也;The Aborigines of Taiwan, they are not cunning as the armored northern barbarians;
    渾沌狉榛,非有先王之教也;Like primitive young animals, they did not receive the education of our Kings;
    巖居谷處,非有城郭之守也;Living in the hills and valleys, they do not have the defense of city-forts;
    射飛逐走,非有砲火之利也;Shooting flying birds and hunting running beasts, they do not have gun powers;
    南北隔絕,互相吞噬,非有節制之師也;The north and the south being separated, and mutually attacking and swallowing up each other, they do not have masters controlling over them;
    故其負嵎跋扈,則移兵以討之,So, to those aborigines that stay in the mountains and act like bullies, we send soldiers to conquer them,
    望風來歸,則施政以輯之,to those who know which way the wind blows and will follow us, we set policy to put them in order,
    此固理番之策也。This should be the strategy of Managing the Aborigines.
    清廷守陋,不知大勢,The court of Qing follows outdated thoughts and doesn't know the general trend of reality,
    越界之令,以時頒行。Orders to cross the borders are executed only on certain times or dates.
    而我先民仍冒險而進,But still our ancestors took the risks and went in,
    剪除荊棘,備嘗辛苦,以闢田疇,成都聚,cutting out thorns and vines, enduring all sorts of hardship, so as to cultivate farmlands and build up townships.
    為子孫百年大計者,其功業豈可泯哉!How can their efforts and results for the hundred-year great planning for the future generations be ever covered under!
    牡丹之役,船政大臣沈葆楨視師臺灣,At the time of the battle of 牡丹, the minister of Shipping Affairs, 沈葆楨, he came inspecting Taiwan,
    奏請開山,經營新邑。and reported to the Emperor, asking to start the founding and managing of new cities there.
    及劉銘傳任巡撫,尤亟亟於理番, to the time when 劉銘傳 was the governor there, he was particularly active in the management of the Aborigines,
    設撫墾總局,以治其事。He set up headquarters to especially deal with the matters of soothing treatments of the Aborigines and land cultivation.
    而臺灣番政乃有蓬勃之氣焉。So now the management of the Aborigines is thriving.
    夫臺灣之番,非可羈縻而已也;The Aborigines of Taiwan are not some people that you can just tie them up or put halters over their mouths;
    得其地可以耕,得其人可以用,If you get their land you can farm, their people you can use,
    天然之利,取之無窮。The natural resources and advantages are more than abundantly available for the taking.
    而人治之效,乃可以啟其奧。The effective management of their people is the key to open this door.
    是故理番之事,臺灣之大政也,成敗之機,實繫全局。Therefore the matter of Aboriginal Management is the main politics of Taiwan. Success or failure of this matter is tied to the affairs of All.

  19. From this half-guessed translation, I get kind of the rationale for the management, but not the method. Anyway, my basic nagging question is: what was the end result of
    this management? Did some of the aborigines in the western plains stay on keeping their land, or did they ALL gradually get relocated to the mountains and the east coast?

    Here is the reason why I keep on about this land ownership issues. I don't intend to advocate justice for the Aborigines. I'm trying to find faults of some of the ancestors of Taiwanese. Why? Because all the comments I read about attacking and finding faults of KMT and Ma Ying-jeou. If they can find faults of KMT members, then I can find faults in "Taiwanese" people, or politically "pro-Taiwanese" people.

    To be sure, KMT did do many bad things to Taiwanese. But I don't believe picking KMT out as the bad element and trying to oust them is the same as actually making Taiwan a better place. I like Ma Ying-jeou in at least one aspect because I was so glad to see the day that KMT and CCP are actually likely to make peace. To make peace! How often do you see that?

    I'm not qualified to say what is better for Taiwan. But I have a conviction that picking faults of KMT will do as much good for Taiwan as picking faults of Taiwanese or their ancestors. So why do I do such stupid things as picking faults of the Taiwanese ancestors? Because I want to illustrate that what I do is stupid, and those that pick faults of KMT all the time is stupid just like me. It's stupid because all we do is picking faults of each other, and don't bother to figure out what can really and actually help Taiwan get better.

    To be fair, I'd say I'd be even happier if the Aborigines and KMT and DPP and XYZ all make peace with each other, and find ways to live better together. Pointing out each other's fault can be constructive criticism, of course, but praising the other side occassionally can go a long way, too. If only someone can show us how.

    That's about that. I will close up this chapter of rant now. If EyeDoc you still have patience with me, I can be a quiet student of your history lessons now.


  20. Hi Herman,

    Great translation, thanks for taking the time. The only point I'd disagree with you is the phrase "越界之令,以時頒行" which I believe refers to the off-and-on permission to cross the Taiwan Strait, not the Han-Aboriginal boundary. Crossing of the latter was no longer actively banned after early 1700s.

    There seems a misconception that on the western plain, something atrocious had happened to the Aborigines. They in fact did not disappear into thin air. As late as 1875, in the journey from Danshui to Tainan, George Leslie Mackay traveled through many of their villages, some were fairly well-populated. See:
    Their villages and those of the Han were (some still are) next to each other.

    After the Qing, the Japanese Colonial Gov't not only inherited the 理番 policy from the Qing but also actively applied the police-state tactic. Then the takeover of Taiwan by the KMT and with it the 理番 policy but only as an after-thought.

    The 2nd generation KMT Ma Yin-jeou may admire Liu Ming-chuan, but he has never really redressed the cumulative grievances against the gov'ts since the Dutch rule. This is almost an impossible task, in all fairness, Ma should not bear the responsibility of mismanaging the Aborigines.

    I was indeed a bit puzzled at why you were picking on early Taiwanese settlers. Lien-heng's statement, from a Taiwanese's perspective that you have translated, should be clear enough. We are fairly sure that the immigrants did not come in with weapons, killed all the Plains Aborigines, and grabbed their land.

    As to the finding of KMT's faults (or that of the DPP): in Taiwan, criticizing the gov't is a national past-time, a pressure release from years of fear under the White Terror. The media sometimes over do it, but in general, it is a healthy democracy in action. The criticism directed at Ma Administration is part of the game, no need to read too much into it.

    As to the far more serious matter, the reunion with China issue, it is up to the people of Taiwan to decide. Political posturing is not as effective as promoting mutual understanding between the Taiwanese and the Chinese. And I believe this is now being done. You seem to surf the net quite a bit as the rest of us, then you must have realized the unfettered belief in Chinese imperialism of the Chinese netizens. This was exactly what the Chinese mindset was in 1945 when they came over and the Taiwanese have not forgotten it yet. We are all for peace and prosperity; unfortunately, there is still no agreement on how to proceed, particularly when China still has 1,500 missiles aimed at Taiwan.

    I don't know when you left Taiwan for the US, perhaps you can post your experience interacting with the local kids when you were growing up in Keelung.

  21. Herman:

    Here is an excerpt from The Liberty Times news today (8/21/2011):

    Title: 原民文化音樂祭 淡水熱力開唱



    The Aborigines are always around even in our little town. I am not sure what their land ownership status is; although all the deeds are available from Tamsui District Office since the Qing era.

  22. It is truly a great surprise to learn that there are 1,400 Ami tribe aborigines living around Tamsui area today with a Chief named 鄧勇. The Ami tribe 阿美族 as I know of is distributed mainly at East Taiwan. There was no aborigine I know of while growing up in Tamsui; when did they move in to Tamsui area from East Taiwan?

  23. Hi ChoSan,

    That was after your time: Some of the 阿美族 relocated from Hualien to Taipei County about 30 years ago. They settled near 新店 (30+ families), 三鶯 (27 families), and elsewhere. This "1,400 in Danshui" probably includes those working on various construction projects.

    The original Danshui Pingpu lived up in Da-tuen-shan area. We know of 4 different families that are still there.

  24. Hi EyeDoc,

    "...The criticism directed at Ma Administration is part of the game, no need to read too much into it."

    Those are soothing words. You are quite a doctor. I feel my tension inside is much relieved. I didn't think much about reunion with China, just about the making peace part. And I did notice quite a few nasty remarks on the net from mainland Chinese regarding Taiwan's discussion on identity. I just automatically skip them when I see them. Now that you mentioned it, I begin to see that it's disturbing reality to be reckoned with.

    I may be able to recall a few childhood events in Keelung that's worth mentioning. But not much comes to mind at the moment. Dec. 30, 1977 was when I left Taiwan. and,

    Hi ChoSan,

    I hope I didn't offend you with my remarks. It was kind of a way to release the frustrations inside of me. I'll try to make sure my mouth is smaller than my brain the next time.

    And same to Patrick if I've offended your sensibilities.

  25. Dear Herman,

    You are too kind. I only know a bit about the eye.

    You do appear a gentleman with a true desire to know Taiwan's past and present. This desire is shared by all who care for Taiwan.

    Please continue to participate in the discussion and do guest posts if you wish.

  26. Herman
    I have not realized you have done anything that offends anyone of us at all; no apology is needed.
    BTW, Keelung 基隆reminds me the late photographer 鄭桑渓 see http://taiwanpedia.culture.tw/web/content?ID=2421 Few years younger, he was a great armature photograph from Keelung.

    Those Ami family must be relocated by KMT government for a purpose; I bet all of them are hard core KMT members.

  27. ChoSan,

    You mean for their votes? It may well be.

  28. Hi ChoSan,

    Glad to hear it. 鄭桑渓's pictures sounds interesting. I'll see what I can find out about his work. Thanks for the reference.


    And thanks for your kinds words. Will sure follow your posts and talk some more.

  29. Sorry, I forgot to come back.

    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.

  30. 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.

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

  32. The Han would have based and registered the child's ethnicity in a cross-cultural marriage on his or her father's ethnicity. Almost all of the marriages would have involved a Chinese father and aboriginal mother (there were not many Chinese women in Taiwan).

    I've heard that right now, if ethnicity was based on the woman's heritage, Taiwan's aborigines would make up another 2 percent of the population.