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Discover Siraya

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Last updated : 2014-11-03 16:42

Siraya dressThe Siraya National Scenic Area is brimming with Aboriginal culture, boasting some of the most well preserved traditional culture, celebrations, and faith. The Siraya people are an Aboriginal tribe that once occupied the plains in the Tainan area, living a simple agricultural life in a matriarchal society. Due to the warm Taiwanese climate, the Siraya people generally went naked, until in the 17th century they began covering wearing loincloths. In the latter 19th century, both the males and females took to waring Chinese-style tops and loose-fitting pants. When the Chinese began immigrating to the area, they started developing the land, bringing with them advanced agricultural technologies; they established irrigation systems and started planting rice, and due to their superior agricultural prowess, the Chinese gradually pushed the Siraya out. As the numbers of Chinese grew, the Siraya were forced to move, and some began to intermarry with local Chinese, gradually being assimilated into the community. Many traditional customs were lost this way, with only a few ceremonies and religious customs surviving to today. Of particular note amongst these is the “Night Festival,” an iconic part of Siraya religious culture and evidence of the people’s determination to hand down their culture to future generations.