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  • Culture

    1. Industry and Food Rukai (Drekay) economic activities include agriculture and hunting. In agriculture, foxtail millet, upland rice, sweet potatoes, and taro are the major crops. In hunting, the wild boar is the main meat source. The sweet potato and taro are the Rukai staple foods. They often roast dry the taro for preservation. The Rukai people cook dried taro with vegetables and meat in the form of congee. In addition, as the most easily grown and accessed crop, peanut is a common non-staple food of the Rukai. Hunting is the man’s job. Men must capture wildlife before they become adults. A Rukai man is qualified to carry the lily, it symbolizes a warrior’s achievement after capturing six (some villages five) male walisane (wild boars) with tusks. Foxtail millet plays an important in Rukai daily life. Apart from worshiping with the millet in rituals, they make abai (millet cake) for feasts as a symbol of sharing and congratulation. Like the Paiwan, Rukai people also make cinavu (food wrapped in leaves), i.e., they wrap meat covered with powdered taro in the leaf of Khasya trichodesma (Trichodesma khasianum). 2. Clothing Traditional Rukai Clothing Rukai clothing belongs to the square clothing system mainly made with cotton and linen, with a dark background decorated with sharp-colored (red, yellow, green) embroidery. Men’s traditional clothing is primarily leather. In the past, the men’s dress code includes leather headgear, head scarf, upper garment, baldric, waist belt, deerskin jacket, deerskin breech-less trousers, and decorative headgear as well when dressed up. Women’s casual wear includes the head scarf, robe, skirt, leg covers, gloves, etc. When dressed up, women wear embroidered clothes or clothes with bead accessories, along with various accessories, such as garlands, neck ornaments, and shoulder ornaments. Today, Rukai people dress up for important functions or weddings to show their respects for the hosts and showcase their culture. The Rukai dress code is class-specific. Take the pattern for example; only the Chief can use patterns including the hundred pace vipers, the sun, the human head, and the pottery pot; an

  • Geographic Distribution

    There are three origins accounting for the demonym of Rukai (abbreviation for Ngudradrekai), but so far none conclusive. First, it is believed that “Rukai” is what they called themselves: people living in high and cold mountains. Second, “Rukai” is a transformation from the Paiwan language, suggesting the east, upstream, and deep mountains, where the Rukai people settled. Third, “Rukai” is a transformation from the Puyuma language, referring to a tribe at the foot of the neighboring mountain. In the Rukai legend, there are three origins of the ethnic group. First, the descendants of the Eastern Rukai: it is said after landing on the east coast, ancestors settled in the east and west of the Central Mountain Range. Second, the descendants of the sun, pottery pot, or stone according to the Western Rukai. Third, the descendants from the Greater Ghost Lake and Lesser Ghose Lake areas in Maolin according to the oral history of the lower three branches in Maolin District, Kaohsiung City. The Rukai people are distributed on both sides of the south of the Central Mountain Range, belonging to three administrative regions: Kaohsiung City, Pingtung County, and Taitung County. The Rukai fall into three sub-groups by living environment and by cultural identification: The Eastern Rukai, Western Rukai, and the lower three branches. The language, social system, and cultural features of these three sub-groups are different at different levels, and the biggest difference is found between the Eastern Rukai, Western Rukai, and the lower three branches, including vocabulary and accent. The Eastern Rukai settled in the upstream Danan (Taromak) River in Dongxin (Taromak) Village, Beinan (Pinang) Township, Taitung County. The Western Rukai settled in the Ailiao River drainage basin, Wutai (Vedai) Township, Pingtung County. There are eight villages in Wutai: Kucapungane, Adiri, Jilu (Kinulane), Wutai (Vudai), Shenshan (Kabalelradhane), Dawu (Labuwan), Jiamu (Karamemedesane), and Guchuan (Kudrengere). Some migrated to Sandimen (Santji) Township,Qingye (Talamakau) and Dewen (Tjukuvulj), Majia (Makazayazaya) Township,Sanhe (lziuci laulauzang) and Meiyu

  • Rukai Introduction

    The Rukai (Drekay) society is characterized by a social class system formed upon a well-defined division of labor and blended with marriage, politics, religion, worshipping, and art. With the lily as the “symbolizing flower” for purity, bravery, courage, and honor, the right to wear lily ornaments is a core value of the Rukai culture. Foxtail millet is its principal economic crop, leading to the irreplaceable millet harvest festival. Currently, the Rukai population is about 13,465 people (as January 2020). Rukai_1024_魯凱族.jpg

  • Legend

    In the Tsou (Cou) culture, Hamo is the supreme God, ruling heaven and earth. There are hitsus (deities) of other areas, such as the Millet God, Rice God, Land God, Military God, and the Smallpox God. When daily life and supernatural power co-exist in harmony, everything goes smoothly and crop yields are high. Therefore, the Tsou people communicate with supernatural powers through the wizard/witch to resolve conflicts between daily life and supernatural powers. In the 1960s when the Tsou people generally accepted Western religions and changed crops from millet to rice, traditional ceremonies began to be neglected. As traditional ceremonies and festivals have regained their importance in recent years, they have become important events to bring together the ethnic group. Annual Tsou ceremonies are related to millet growth and harvest. The Homeyaya (Millet Harvest Festival) is held after the harvest every year. In addition, Tfuya and Tapang communities hold the Mayasvi (Triumph Festival, also called the War Ritual) in the middle of the year to pay their respects to history and pray for success and unity in future wars. 1. Homeyaya (Millet Harvest Festival) Dancing Performance at the Millet Harvest Festival The Homeyaya (Millet Harvest Festival) is held every year after the harvest to show appreciations to the Millet God and to bring community solidarity together. Every year when the harvest is about to take place, elders of each clan will determine the harvest time; make preparations for the festival, such as brewing wine, making glutinous cakes, and setting up the ritual shrine; and prevent evil spirits from invasion with the pear-leaf microglossa (Microglossa pyrifolia). On the ritual day, elders and people of every clan worship the deity with wine, meat, and glutinous cakes to thank for good harvest and say prayers for their family. 2. Mayasvi (Triumph Festival, also called War Ritual, Unity Ritual) Triumph Festival rituals and activities The Triumph Festival is a community ritual of the Tsou. It is held by the Tfuya community during January to March and by the Tapang community during August to October. It is a ritual worshipping the Heavenly God, the Military

  • Ancestral Rules

    1. Kinship Structure Traditionally, the Tsou (Cou) people formed a sub-clan (lineage group) with several patrilineal families. Each sub-clan shares the same family name, the farms, the same fishing area, co-host the millet ceremonies, and shares the same family house in the hosa (grand community). In the family house, there are the sub-clan’s symbolic holy objects: ritual millet and animal bone racks. A sub-clan is the most basic kinship unit in Tsou society. Principal private property includes the houses (native family, split family, working house, warehouse, animal shelters) that are shared within a sub-clan, and the farmland and fishing grounds are also shared within a sub-clan. Sub-clans of close blood relationships will form a clan, with the first branch founder’s family as the native family, including the family name. Members within the same clan share the same farmland and hunting grounds before distributing to sub-clans. A clan is a marriage unit, i.e. intermarriage is not allowed in the same clan. 2. Family and Marriage The Tsou society is patrilineal, and all children live with the father and the father’s family. On marriage, patrilocality is practiced, with the parents deciding on the marriage. Marriage by service is popular in traditional Tsou culture. In this system, the groom will need to help the bride’s family for some time after marriage. The length of service varies from one week to years. Today, marriage by service has extinguished. 3. Hosa (Grand Community) and Denohiu (Minor Community) The hosa (grand community) identification is important to the tsou people. With one grand community as the center, a “Hosa (Grand Community)” is formed with several branches— denohiu (minor communities). The grand community is the earliest settlement formed. Due to farming, minor communities are formed around a grand community. However, the grand community is always the political, religious, and economic center. The Kuba (Male Assembly Hall) administered by the community chief is the political center of a grand community. 4. Kuba (Male Assembly Hall) The Kuba (Male Assembly Hall) is the most important symbol of

  • 2019 Detailed Implementation Plan for Indigenous Land Planning, Management, and Operation -- Restoration Plan for Rights to Land Reserved for Indigenous People

    I.       Competent Authority: Council of Indigenous Peoples Organizing Authority: Municipal (county/city) governments and local township (town/city/district) offices. Co-organizing Authority: Land administration entities of all levels II.         Status overview Land reserved for indigenous people is the land for special purposes or uses demarcated by the government to protect the livelihood of indigenous people and promote indigenous administration. To ensure the rights and interests of indigenous peoples and promote the fair use of land reserved for indigenous peoples, according to Article 37 of the Slopeland Conservation and Utilization Act and the Regulations on Development and Management of the Lands Reserved for Indigenous Peoples, after guiding indigenous peoples to apply for registration of the cultivation right on farmland, the agriculture right on forest land, and the superficies right on construction land respectively, all related entities shall help them acquire the ownership of such land for free after their self-operation or self-use of such land for five consecutive years. In response to the resource development and the planning and management of land reserved for indigenous people at present, the “Inventory of Resource Utilization of Land Reserved for Indigenous Peoples” was specifically implemented in 1995. The online land management information system for land reserved for indigenous peoples has been constructed with the completed inventory items including “cadastral data, land ownership, and land utilization status” to provide a reference for development and strategy making. This Implementation Plan is thus established in response to the desperate need for registration of land reserved for indigenous peoples under the guidance of municipal (county/city) governments and local township (town/city/district) offices to ensure the land rights of indigenous peoples. III.         Objectives 1.          To impartially and fairly allocate land for indigenous peoples and encourage lo

  • Indigenous lands Survey and Demarcation Implementation Plan (2019-2023)

    I.       Objective According to paragraph 4 of Article 21 of the Indigenous Peoples Basic Law (Basic Law) promulgated in June 2015, the competent authority of indigenous peoples of the central government shall establish the regulations for demarcation of indigenous lands and the scope of the indigenous villages. The Council of Indigenous Peoples thus promulgated and implemented the Regulations for Demarcation of the Traditional Territory of Indigenous Peoples and Villages (Demarcation Regulations) with the Order Yuan-Min-Tu-Zi (Indigenous lands) No. 10600074622 on February 18, 2017 as the principled guide for implementation. To realize the spirit to protect the indigenous lands rights in the Basic Law, this Implementation Plan is established for the survey and demarcation of the traditional territory of the land of indigenous peoples and villages in accordance with the Demarcation Regulations, in consideration of the experience and recommendations (including human resources, funds, and schedules) from the implementation of the Plan for Determination of the Traditional Territory of Indigenous lands in 2015 and 2016, with reference to the cultural diversity and special societal structure of indigenous peoples, and with respect to the autonomy and subjectivity of indigenous villages and peoples. It is hoped that the demarcation of the traditional territory of indigenous lands will be implemented through the assistance of the local (county/city) governments, indigenous township (towns, cities, districts) offices, and the demarcation groups formed by indigenous villages and peoples with the approval of the Council of Indigenous Peoples. It is expected that the announcement of the traditional territories and lands of 748 indigenous villages will be completed under this Implementation Plan to realize the right of informed consent in the Basic Law. In addition, in the supplementary demarcation of lands reserved for indigenous peoples, guidance will be arranged to help indigenous peoples acquire the government land that has been occupied by their ancestors prior to February 1, 1988 and used by them until today, in order to stabilize the basic right

  • Four-Year Plan for Phase III Indigenous Social Security Development, Council of Indigenous Peoples

    Project Goals The aim of this Plan is to develop a social welfare system for indigenous peoples. It emphasizes that proactive welfare protection with respect to the specificity of collective culture must be established upon the self-determination principle fully expressed by the common interests of indigenous peoples, recognize the right to autonomy and self-determination of indigenous peoples, realize protection for the right to work of indigenous peoples, and create sustainable employment for indigenous peoples through promoting employment services for indigenous peoples and adopting long-term and steady employment service measures. Apart from developing an indigenous long-term care system based on the cultural specificity and geographic characteristics of indigenous peoples to meet long-term care needs of indigenous peoples and eliminating welfare and healthcare inequalities to improve healthcare services for and value the right to health of indigenous peoples, a cross-ministerial collaboration platform will be established to promote long-term care services and make healthcare policies for indigenous peoples based on the indigenous cultural contents. Localized support services will be developed to promote the social welfare rights of indigenous peoples based on the respect for the interests and spirit of indigenous peoples and encourage their participation in the welfare services. The welfare delivery system for indigenous peoples will be developed to plan an indigenous social security system encompassing the collective interests and autonomous vision of indigenous peoples. I.              Objectives   (I)           Promotion of employment services and creation of sustainable employment for indigenous peoples and creation of sustainable momentum of employment for indigenous peoples  1.   Enhancing employment competence and improving employment competitiveness: To mitigate any macroenvironmental influence on indigenous employees and to resolve the labor shortage of industries and the job change needs of workers, related

  • Six-Year Plan for Taiwan’s Indigenous Languages Revitalization (2014-2019)

    Objectives: The Plan is Phase II of the “Six-Year Plan for Taiwan’s Indigenous Languages Revitalization (2008-2013)” which further strengthens the force and depth of implementation of the various measures for revitalizing Taiwan’s indigenous languages. Overall, this Plan aims to “reinvigorate ” Taiwan’s indigenous languages and to realize the substantiality of “linguistic rights” and the  basic human rights of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples. Specifically, the six goals of the Plan are as follows: I.     Create an living and learning environment for indigenous languages With respect to the experience and theories regarding the revitalization of ethnic minority languages in Western countries, the effectiveness of revitalization of indigenous languages can only be observed through intergenerational inheritance in families, villages, and communities. Based on the foundation of Phase I, this Plan continues to enhance indigenous languages learning in families and in villages. And building a sound environment for living with and learning indigenous languages was set as the goal We hope to form a trend of “speaking and learning indigenous languages” in the entire indigenous society and thereby promote the revitalization of indigenous languages through promoting indigenous languages in families, villages, and communities. II.    Developing a complete system for indigenous language learning To supplement the insufficiency of diverse learning methods and channels in Phase I, this Plan will develop a systemic learning measure for indigenous languages for each learning stage and enhance the implementation of “immersive learning of indigenous languages for preschoolers.” This Plan arranges channels for learning indigenous languages corresponding to stages, including preschool education, school education, and adult learning. This Plan will also develop various convenient e-learning materials in response to evolving information technology. III.   Cultivating talents for revitalizing indigenous languages The revitalization of indigenous langua

  • Introduction

    Amis are a large community-based indigenous ethnic group with a large population. They have magnificent rituals, with the annual harvest being the most representative. Currently, the Amis population is about 213,514 people (as of January 2020). Amis_1024_阿美族.jpg