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Uprisings, Migrations, and Ethnic Identity: A Study of the Kaxabu in the Taiwan Borderland during the Qing

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The earliest written record of the term “Kaxabu” dates to the 1908 survey report by the Japanese scholar Inō Kanori. In his study of the Pazzehe tribe in central Taiwan, he wrote: “Kaxabu was the name given by the Pazzehe to Daiyao’puru, a small division of its ethnic group.” During the Qing era, the Pazzehe was called the Anli group by Chinese speakers in Taiwan, while the Kaxabu were named Puzili she (the Puzili tribe). Since the Kaxabu originated from the Pazzehe, thus in determining the time when the Kaxabu became distinct from the Pazzehe and in exploring the differences between them, we will also elucidate historical developments before the Japanese colonial era. Using Qing historical materials such as travelogues, expedition records, newspapers, data from fieldwork, surveys, and interviews, this study traces the intervention of the Qing court into tribal relationships in central Taiwan, beginning with the Dajiaxi she Incident (1731–32), it touches on the changing environment of the Kaxabu/Puzili she in their migrations in order to shed light on the development of the two distinctive identities—the Kaxabu and Pazzehe/Anli group. The analysis also reveals the impact of uprisings and migrations upon the border area surrounding Qing Taiwan, as well as problems of ethnic identification and geography.


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