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Glimpses Of ‘Aboriginal Taiwan’

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Chapter Summary

The literature of early eyewitness accounts of Formosa offers us a few rare glimpses of 'Aboriginal Taiwan'. Supplementing a few Portuguese, Spanish, and Chinese accounts written prior to their arrival, the Dutch reports on expeditions to and explorations of the Formosan interior will be the main sources used to create a picture of Formosa at the time the indigenous Formosans still dominated their land. Because the extant image of these Formosans refers preponderantly to the richly documented Siraya, it would not be inappropriate to term it 'the Siraya Discourse'. This chapter reconstructs a profile of Formosan groups other than the Siraya, in order to draw attention to the heterogeneity of local cultures in Formosa in the early seventeenth century.

Keywords: Aboriginal Taiwan; Dutch; Formosa; seventeenth century; Siraya

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