Sakizaya people

Sakizaya people
Sakuzaya
Patuduay撒奇萊雅族祝禱司.jpg
Sakizaya priests on Palamal, the Ceremony of Fire
Total population
924 (Jan 2018)
Regions with significant populations
Hualien
Languages
Mandarin, Sakizaya, Formosan languages
Religion
Ancestor Worship, Animism, Christianity
Related ethnic groups
Amis, Kavalan, other Taiwanese aborigines

The Sakizaya (native name: Sakuzaya, literally "real man"; Chinese: 撒奇萊雅族; pinyin: Sāqíláiyǎ; occasionally Sakiraya or Sakidaya) are Taiwanese Aborigines with a population of approximately 5,000–10,000. They primarily live in the cities/counties of Keelung, Taoyuan City, and New Taipei, as well as on Hualien (formerly known as Kiray), where their culture is centered.

The Sakizaya are an Austronesian people, mostly related to other Taiwanese Aborigines and have cultural, linguistic, and genetic ties to other Austronesian ethnic groups, such as those from the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Madagascar, and Oceania. Though their language is their most defining feature; it has not been recognized as a "true language" but simply a dialect of Amis, even though the languages are not grammatically similar.

The Sakizaya traditionally practiced ancestor worship, which includes the worship of a pantheon of gods and ancestral spirits. However, most have converted to Christianity. Their society is mostly matrilinear, and women often have the authority. On 17 January 2007, the Taiwan government recognized the community as a distinct ethnic group. Before this, the people was previously classified as Amis, the group where they "hid" after they, and their Kavalan allies, fought a devastating battle against Qing invaders during the late 19th century.

History

Due to their intermingling within other peoples, the original genetic identity of the Sakizaya is uncertain. According to one study, they are intimately related to the Northern and Middle Amis.[1] They also seem to share certain genetic traits with other indigenous groups, as well as with the Taiwanese Han, though this may have been a result of intermarriage. The C2 and C3 haplogroups are absent in their population.

Early history

Much of the history of the Sakizaya is unknown. It is unclear when the Sakizaya, or their ancestors, first arrived in Taiwan. According to some experts, the first human inhabitants of the island arrived 15,000 years ago and were dependent on marine life for survival.[2] Neolithic peoples began arriving 6,000 years ago, which allowed the advent of agriculture, domestic animals, polished stone adzes, and pottery.[2] The presence of these adzes imply a relation with the Penghu islands, where these objects are common.[2]

Colonial era

The first contact with the community outside of Formosa occurred during the 17th century, when the Dutch and the Spanish arrived.[3] It was during this time when a 1636 Spanish document was written about the name and activities of the people.[4] Since then, there were not any reports of external contact until the 19th century.

Karewan Incident

In 1878, the Sakizaya, and their Kavalan allies, fought a devastating battle against Qing invaders.[5] This event ended in disaster for the both communities causing many of their members to be slaughtered in an event called the "Takobowan Incident"[3] (also known as the “Galeewan Incident”[6] or “Kalyawan Battle” zh:加禮宛事件).[1] Others were displaced by Han settlers.[6] The remaining Sakizaya, meanwhile, were forced to blend with other peoples, such as the Ami, with the intention of protecting their identity.[7]

When the Japanese ruled Taiwan in 1895, anthropologists classified the people as a subgroup of the Amis.[8] The people, however, discreetly maintained their own culture and language which continued during the next century.[7]

Modern times

In 2004, the community presented a petition for official ethnic group status to the Council of Indigenous Peoples based on historical, linguistic and cultural data.[9] This was officially filed on 13 October 2005.[10] Eventually, the petition was approved on 17 January 2007, recognizing them as a distinct ethnic group.[9][11]

Like other Taiwanese Aborigines, the Sakizaya face contemporary social and economic challenges.[12] These include urbanization of the youth, a phenomenon that may affect their culture.[13]

Other Languages
Bân-lâm-gú: Sakizaya-cho̍k
Deutsch: Sakizaya
français: Sakizaya
hrvatski: Sakizaya
italiano: Sakizaya
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Sakizaya-cŭk
Nederlands: Sakizaya
日本語: サキザヤ族