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Sakizaya

The Sakizaya call gods or spirits ‘dito’, similar to the ‘kawas’ in the Amis language. The Sakizaya believe in pantheism and in the omnipresence of supernatural powers. Ancestral spirits are also referred as ‘dito’; yet, where they are is as unpredictable as the fickle weather. Priests or mapalaway alone can communicate with the ancestral spirits. Common people don’t know the exact whereabouts of ancestral spirits, but their life is under their influence. For example, women become pregnant and give birth to babies because spirits are attached to their bodies. People also live because their spirits dwell inside their bodies; once the spirits leave, people will die. In addition to abovementioned spirits, the Sakizaya also believe in other gods; they call Malataw‧Otoki the spirit of the world, Olipong the god that drives away illnesses, and Talaman or Takonawan the god of the poor.

After a man passes away, ‘dito’ becomes the god of death. His soul would fly through the recess of the Milun or the present Meilun Mount to the ocean on the east. When the Sakizaya hold rituals, all ancestral spirits will also fly back to the ritual site from the sea and through the Milun Mount. These ancestral spirits often dress in red and remain invisible to the common people but the priests or mapalaway.